Toddler dentists work on the teeth of children. The vast majority of us can expect to need some dental work at some point in our lives. The risk of dental decay of some degree is high, gum disease is common, and many of us may experience crowding or other problems related to teeth misalignment.

However, many are unaware that even children as young as infants can be plagued with dental issues. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most common dental problems for children as young as infants.

Tooth decay

Children can start having issues with tooth decay as soon as they have teeth. This is even more likely in children who have a diet with a lot of sugar and carbs, be they from candies, fruit roll-ups, breads, etc. When these foods get trapped between their teeth, they cause bacteria to grow, forming plaque and tartar that wears away at teeth. We can help you ensure a healthy set of teeth by giving tips on dental hygiene at home, as well as routine cleanings when necessary.

Baby bottle caries

A carie is the scientific form for physical tooth decay. While toddlers are generally vulnerable to decay, it can also be specifically caused by habits in feeding them with a baby bottle, as well. Sugary liquids like breast milk, formula, and fruit juice can cause decay to appear. This is especially true if your toddler is given a bottle right before bed and they don’t have their mouth washed afterward. Washing their mouths every time they eat or drink is the best way to prevent this. Otherwise, if they’re carrying a drink around or having it just before bed, make sure that it’s water.

Tooth sensitivity

Some children have a layer of enamel on their teeth that is too thin, others will have this enamel wear away, exposing the more sensitive parts of tooth beneath. Not only does this leave the tooth more vulnerable to decay, but it will also make it more sensitive, and your child may experience pain if the tooth is exposed to hot or cold. Kids are especially likely to experience tooth sensitivity since their baby teeth have a thinner layer of enamel than the permanent teeth that will eventually replace them.

Thumb sucking

Anyone can experience tooth misalignment for a whole host of reasons. However, young children are especially prone to it for a few reasons in particular. For one, reflexive thumb sucking is very common in infants and perfectly natural behavior. However, it can lead to a range of issues with teeth alignment, jaw alignment, and even the development of speech. The dentist can help offer tips on how positively reinforce your child so that they suck their thumb less, but it’s mostly down to your ability to manage their habits.

Gum disease

Though many only start to notice it as adults, kids can indeed get gum disease as well. This happens as a result of lacking oral hygiene, leading the gums to become inflamed and to bleed when brushing. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to receding gums and even tooth loss. Again, regular brushing is key to treating gum disease, and your infant dentist can provide regular cleaning to help you stay on top of it. To incentivize good oral hygiene, you can start a star chart that, when full, means your child gets a reward.

Bringing your child to the dentist for the first time

Finding a local toddler dentist is important and you want to make sure that your child feels as safe and comfortable as they can during their first appointment. We recommend calling us up and letting us know that you’re coming for a visit or tour ahead of time. This can help the child get used to their surroundings. It’s also recommended that you read children’s books about the dentist, watch a cartoon episode about the dentist, and even play dentist at home so they get familiar with the concept. The less alien it is to them, the less frightening it is, too.

What can be done to help your kids?

If you’re a parent and you’re concerned about the dental health of your children, that’s a good thing. It means you’re more likely to act on it sooner and to make sure they get the care they need from a toddler dentist like Hacienda Heights. Get in touch with us today and we can make sure your kid starts getting the preventative treatment they need to have a happy, healthy mouth.