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  • General Dentistry
  • August 25, 2023
  • by lotus

At Lotus Smiles Dental, we’re passionate about working with parents to debunk myths about children’s teeth. Our goal is to set your kids up for a lifetime of good oral health and help minimise dental problems both now and in the future.

It can be easy to assume that kid’s teeth problems aren’t anything to worry about because they’re still losing their baby teeth. 

Many people also incorrectly assume that children aren’t susceptible to “adult” issues like gum disease because they’re too young. 

What kind of dental problems do a child’s teeth have? 
  • Tooth decay – even in infants. We call it “baby bottle” tooth decay because it is often the result of babies and toddlers falling asleep with unswallowed milk in their mouths. It doesn’t just cause pain and discomfort. Tooth decay at a young age can cause the baby teeth to fall out prematurely, which impacts how adult teeth grow.
  • No matter how proactive parents are, children aren’t great at brushing their teeth. Even if they’re in a good routine, their technique is still developing, which means they’re always susceptible to plaque forming. This can lead to tooth and gum issues because their teeth just aren’t being cleaned properly. 
  • Overbites and other jaw and mouth issues caused by thumb sucking. As comforting as it can be for the little ones, the thumb sucking habit needs to be stopped before their permanent teeth start to grow, usually by age 5. 
  • Shark teeth – this is where the adult teeth start to grow behind or alongside their baby teeth. This condition effectively gives your child two rows of teeth and can cause the permanent teeth to need orthodontic treatment. 
  • A child’s teeth can be sensitive, but this sometimes gets dismissed if they aren’t willing to participate in their daily tooth brushing routine. Sensitivity and other seemingly adult dental problems still affect children. 
How to help prevent kid’s teeth problems?

Problems with a child’s teeth aren’t dissimilar to those we experience in our adult teeth. 

Brushing and flossing is still the best defence. If you can, try and supervise your child and make sure they are brushing all of their teeth. 

Your child is still learning and won’t understand how dental problems can occur. Ensure they can observe you or other older members of the household while you care for your teeth. Copying your actions will help them form good hygiene habits of their own.

Regular dental appointments are an essential part of caring for your child’s teeth. They should start from when they’re about one year old or whenever their first tooth comes through. Your dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule from there. 

How should I be caring for my child’s teeth? 
  • Daily brushing is essential from when the first tooth comes through. Your dentist will let you know when you should start using toothpaste. You can also get a head start by wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, soft damp washcloth twice a day. 
  • Check for visible signs of decay. When you lift your child’s top lip, you may be able to see chalky or brown spots on the teeth or the gum line. If you see these signs, book a dentist appointment as soon as possible. Even if you can’t see the decay, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, so always keep up regular dental appointments. 
  • Offer water as a drink over juice or other sugary beverages. Use sippy cups and cups instead of bottles when it is age-appropriate to do so and try and put your child down for naps with water, not milk. 
  • Twice a day for two minutes at a time is an excellent guide to how long your child should be brushing their teeth. 
Start a good dental routine early

The Lotus Smiles Dental team are passionate about helping children learn healthy teeth habits early and avoid common problems regularly seen in kids’ teeth.

We offer a fun and friendly atmosphere to help the younger members of your family feel at ease with visiting the dentist and receiving treatments.

We’re also here to support you and are always happy to chat about ways to help your child have healthier teeth and gums.

Contact us on (03) 8737 9359 to book your child’s appointment today and set them on the path to a healthy smile.