Dental Care Concerns for Babies and Young Children – What You Need to Know

Published: 30th June 2009
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As a parent, we want our children to be healthy. Paying proper attention to your infant or toddler's dental health is definitely no exception. There are certain dental care concerns for babies and young children that need to be taken into consideration, to ensure that they do not end up with any dental problems that can affect their teeth in the future.

A common concern that many parents of young children have is whether thumb sucking can cause potential problems for future dental health. This is a reasonable concern, and contrary to popular belief, is not an old wives' tale that should be ignored. Thumb sucking in infants and very young toddlers is not that much of a problem, providing the thumb sucking comes to a halt before the age of 5 when baby teeth often start to fall out. Thumb sucking after that age can cause a protrusion of the front teeth though, as well as potential bite problems, so it needs to be taken care of promptly.

Another common dental problem that parents of infants and toddlers face is the presence of nursing caries. Nursing caries are actually tooth decay, and they stem from a child going to bed with bottles filled with anything but water. This happens because the milk or juice that is in the bottle settles in the mouth, which causes the teeth to start to decay. Fortunately, nursing caries are easily prevented, by not allowing your child to sleep with a bottle unless it is filled with only water.

Less often seen in infants, but more common in toddlers, cavities are also a dental concern of many parents. Toddles love nothing more than to munch on something sweet, which we all know can cause cavities to occur. Additionally, if your water has a low level of fluoride, the chances of tooth decay and cavities become higher. This issue can easily be remedied by teaching your children good brushing habits and making sure they brush regularly, and by using a toothpaste with fluoride if the levels in your water are low.



Livonia dentist Dr. Roman Shlafer offers dental services for children and people of all ages. He also offers Livonia cosmetic dentistry and Livonia laser dentistry.


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