Oral Health Issues In Children

children-eyeOral health is important for everyone, but it is particularly important for children because problems that occur in childhood can have long-lasting implications.

Poor oral health in children

Many people assume that oral health is not a priority for children because milk teeth are supposed to fall out; however, this is not the case and neglecting children’s dental teeth can cause the baby teeth to be lost prematurely, which spells trouble for the future. If the baby teeth are lost too early, this causes the adult teeth to push through too soon, which can contribute to misalignment and a higher risk of damage and decay.

Decay is a very common problem among children, especially in today’s society, as children consume more sugar than ever before; decay can have devastating effects for a child. Not only is toothache painful, but it can also cause abscesses, which are very sore and premature tooth loss; in most cases, when a child needs a tooth extracting due to severe decay, the procedure has to be carried out under general anaesthetic in hospital, which carries risks and can be a very daunting scenario for children.

If the adult teeth push through prematurely, this can increase the risk of orthodontic problems, which will continue into the teenage and adult years, if they are not addressed. Orthodontic problems, such as protruding front teeth and crooked teeth, can be a great source of anxiety for children and teenagers and many children are bullied at school for similar issues; the implications of bullying in childhood can last a lifetime.

dent2 How do childhood problems affect adult life?

Many people who experienced dental problems during their childhood have issues in their adult life; they may have an increased risk of decay, they may have underlying worries about their oral health or the look of their smile and they may suffer from a lack of confidence; it is also common for adults who had dental work done during their childhood to suffer from anxiety and nervousness when they go to the dentist or they need dental treatment.

Solutions

Many of the issues that affect children are preventable and dentists urge parents to instill good oral hygiene habits in their children from an early age. Parents should supervise teeth cleaning and encourage their child to brush their teeth twice a day from as early an age as possible. Diet is also an important factor; sugar consumption is one of the major causes of decay in children and parents should restrict the amount of sugar their child consumes and the frequency they eat or drink sugary foods and drinks throughout the day. Regular dental visits are essential for good oral health and children should have 6 monthly check-ups from the age of 12 months old.

Orthodontic problems are very common among children and it is often best to arrange treatment during the early teenage years; if you leave issues untreated, they tend to get worse and will affect the look of your smile and your confidence in later life. This could lead to the need for braces but there are braces that are discreet and even ones the focus on correcting the ‘social six’.