Do you care about the teeth growth of your children?
Hospital terminology for the oral health of the infants through adolescence is pediatric dentistry. Dental problems in children can be caused by many things including parents being part of denying them that ‘perfect’ smile.
According to Dr. Felix Chesin, a dental surgeon from Reale hospital, most parents take part in interfering with infants ‘primary teeth formation by practicing infant oral mutilation.
This is a primitive, ancient, traditional practice involving the ‘gouging out’ of an infant’s healthy primary tooth germs. The process is dangerous and can lead to the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV/ AIDS, septicemia, and death. Other complications may include malformation of the child’s permanent dentition”, explains D.r Felix.
According to the dentist, the common oral health problems in children include;
- Tooth decay
This is where bacteria form a sticky substance called plaque that damages the tooth’s enamel. Enamel is the hard outer surface of a tooth. Tooth decay can lead to cavities. These are holes in the teeth. These bacteria form in a child’s mouth when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left on the teeth.
- Thumb Sucking
Sucking thumbs, in infants is normal because it comforts and sometimes makes them ‘busy’ but if it continues beyond the age of 5, it interferes with the permanent teeth hence dental problems can occur.
Depending on the frequency and duration of the sucking, the teeth can be pushed out of alignment, causing them to protrude and create an upper front tooth overlap with the lower front teeth. This may lead to difficulties in pronunciation.
- Premature Teeth Loss
This is where children lose their teeth at very early stages due to injuries, teeth decay, and sometimes lack of jaw spaces.
- Bleeding gums
This is caused when a child has gingivitis. It is a disease that causes inflammation of the gums. Bleeding gums can also be caused when the child’s Brush too hard or isn’t soft enough. Also, when a child has dentures that are not fitting, it can cause the problem of bleeding gums, although not common.
He says there are emergencies that can occur during the development of an infant’s teeth. These are injuries to the teeth and the periodontal ligament. Sometimes, the injuries can be serious and shouldn’t be ignored. It can start from the tooth itself, all the way to the gums.
Felix adding that dental emergencies can also arise as an infection that travels through the root canal space to the bone. The infection causes swelling of the tissues, inflammation, and spreading of the infection to other tissues.
Dental treatment is very important in the psychological and social aspects of the child’s growth. These include less pain and improved abilities to eat, sleep, and mingle with others.
“Most parents can attest to the fact that treatment has positive social impacts on their child that is more smiling, improved school performance, and increased social interaction” says Dr. Felix.
Dental care includes infant oral health exam, repair of tooth decay and cavity, and general treatment for dental injury. Visiting a dentist for oral checkups regularly will reduce most of these problems.
According to the dentist as parents/guardians it is important to assess the oral health of our children frequently. “Assessing each child’s risk of caries and coming up with preventive measures to specific risk factors is necessary for maintaining and improving oral health for children”.