If you have small children, you should fully understand the risks they have for developing oral problems. While small children and toddlers only have baby teeth, the health of these baby teeth is just as important as the health of the permanent teeth they will eventually develop. As the parent of a child, here are some of the common problems you should know about that toddlers have with their teeth.
Baby bottle tooth decay
The first problem to know about is called baby bottle tooth decay. When a baby is born, he or she will drink formula or breast milk and will then switch to regular milk. All of these beverages contain sugar, even though many people do not realize this. Sugar is something that harms teeth, as most people know, and it can harm a baby's teeth too. If you do not wash off your baby's gums, this sugar can lead to something called baby bottle caries or tooth decay. The risk for a baby developing this is even higher if you put a baby to bed with a bottle or fill a bottle with any type of juice.
A second problem some parents notice with their toddler's teeth is something dentists call a malocclusion. This is a term that refers to a bite that is off, and most kids usually have a bite that is off at least a little. In many cases, a bite will correct itself over time, but a lot of kids will end up getting braces to fix this problem.
Spots on teeth
Some toddlers also develop spots on their teeth, and this is also a common problem. One of the common causes for this is exposure to too much fluoride. If you want to decrease the risks of this happening, you should avoid using toothpaste with fluoride on your child's teeth until he or she is old enough to spit out all the toothpaste after brushing.
Grinding of the teeth
There are also a lot of kids who grind their teeth while they are sleeping, and this worries many parents. You should know that it is perfectly normal for kids to grind their teeth, and many kids do this excessively, but it is a habit that typically stops as a child ages.
If you have a toddler and suspect that he or she may have a problem with his or her teeth, contact a dentist office to schedule an appointment.