Dental caries has been consistently one of the most common diseases in children. Numerous studies have found that dental cavities in kids can be reduced by up to 50 percent through intake of Vitamin D. The results were promising, indicating that Vitamin D can be the secret weapon against childhood caries.
What is the Link Between Dental Caries and Vitamin D?
Enamel is considered as the most mineralized part of the human body. It is primarily made up of phosphate and calcium. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of phosphate and calcium from our diet. Increasing calcium and phosphate absorption can help fight demineralization of enamel due to bacteria, thereby improving the strength of the teeth.
Vitamin D receptors are present on the cells of your immune system and your teeth. Vitamin D receptors bind with Vitamin D and works by increasing the level of antimicrobial proteins to help the body fight the bacteria that destroy tooth enamel.
Furthermore, the osteoblasts that form the enamel and dentin contain Vitamin D receptors, which means that Vitamin D plays a crucial role in their function.
Some studies have shown that dental caries are more prevalent during early spring and late winter, when the levels of Vitamin D are often at their lowest. Numerous studies have revealed that sun exposure and the geographic located are linked to dental caries. People living near the equator, where there’s great amount of sun exposure have less likelihood to develop dental cavities.
In addition, pregnant women with low levels of Vitamin D are more likely to have a child develop early childhood caries (ECC). Kids with ECC seems to have lower levels of Vitamin D than healthy kids. Some experiments have shown that supplementing a mother with Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy can help reduce the rate of dental enamel issues in their child. Defects in dental enamel may increase the possibility of a child having dental caries.
Benefits of Vitamin D on Kids’ Oral Health
The beneficial effects of Vitamin D when provided to children include the following:
1. Improvement in the formation of dentin
2. Better tooth development
3. Enhance the components and amount of saliva to improve tooth enamel strength
4. Tooth protection comparable to fluoride
5. Boosts the body’s immune system
When Vitamin D supplementation is introduced, studies revealed up to 50 percent reduction in dental caries.
What are the Best Sources of Vitamin D?
Infants up to 12 months should have 400 IU per day while babies older than 1 year need 600 IU a day.
Vitamin D is also known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ since the body can make its own through sun exposure. However, your child’s body couldn’t produce sufficient Vitamin D when covered with sunscreen or clothing. Other factors that hinder Vitamin D production through sun exposure include clouds, smog, geographic location and dark skin.
Fortunately, there are other ways to get the Vitamin D you need. Some of the best food sources of Vitamin D include salmon, canned tuna, orange juice, egg yolk, Vitamin D-fortified food products and Swiss cheese.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children, from the infants to teens take Vitamin D supplements of 400 IU every day.
For children with an orthodontic problem, achieving and keeping a lovely smile can be challenging. However, just because your teeth have an inherent problem does not mean it cannot be treated. The advancements in dental technology these day can quickly improve any condition within days or weeks. In the case of underbite correction, it is not as complex and exhaustive as it used to be.
What is an Underbite?
Medically called prognathism or Class III Malocclusion, underbite is a malocclusion where the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. This condition vary depending on the severity, from a mild underbite to a condition where the teeth don’t touch at all due to the wide gap. Underbite isn’t as common as an overbite but at present, 1 in 10 Americans has an underbite. Prognathism can affect anyone of any ethnicity.
Having an underbite may give the impression that you are showing an emotion that isn’t intended. As such, it may result to a social issue that many people want to fix for good.
What are the Causes of Underbite?
Underbite is usually hereditary. It is a misalignment of the lower jaw and is often present at birth. Those with Crouzon Syndrome could show signs of underbite. It can also develop as a result of certain conditions such as acromegaly or gigantism. The issue associated with prognathism depends on the severity. If the malocclusion is too wide, it can cause:
What are the Ways to Correct It?
There are several methods to fix an underbite, from orthodontic appliances to jaw surgery. It is important to visit a pediatric dentist as soon as possible for orthodontic screening, which must be checked by the age of seven.
Corrective appliances for children come in two types:
Reverse Pull Headgear – is a special orthodontic appliance intended to pull the upper jaw and teeth forward while preventing the forward growth of lower jaw. The more you use the headgear, the better it work.
Palatal Expander – is a common orthodontic appliance made of wire and attached to the upper back teeth. This slowly widens the upper jaw to treat or prevent malocclusions.
In extreme cases, underbite correction may need orthognathic jaw surgery.
How to Maintain Oral Health for People with Bite Problems?
While deciding what method of underbite correction is best for you, it is important to maintain proper oral health. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss and rinse it with a mouthwash.
Ask your dentist about the options to fix your underbite. Bite alignment is rarely perfect, particularly at a young age, but the treatment options on the necessary adjustments can bring out the smile you deserve.
Parents usually see a baby’s first tooth eruption as a major milestone in their baby’s life. You might see the first tiny pearly white bud in the gumline as signal’s the arrival of your baby’s first tooth.
The age of tooth eruption considerably varies from baby to baby. However, if you wait month after month for the tooth to erupt, you may feel worried as you imagine your child toothless for a long time. There are several factors causing delay in tooth emergence. However, this delay is not something to be anxious about – there may be underlying causes for such condition in some babies.
What’s Normal Tooth Eruption?
Infants are born with most of their teeth already developed within their gums. They typically start to emerge by the age of six months. First to appear are the two lower front teeth, followed by the four upper front teeth and then the two lower front teeth. In general, the rest arrive two at a time – one on each side. By the age of three, almost all kids have a complete set of 20 primary teeth.
When is a Delay Considered Abnormal?
The normal range for the appearance of the first tooth is between four and 15 months. Most kids have four teeth by the time they’re 11 months old. At 15 months, the baby will have 8 teeth, 12 teeth at 19 months, 16 teeth at 23 months and 20 teeth at 27 months. If your baby has no teeth by age of 18 months, he/she should be taken to see a dentist, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests.
Permanent teeth starts to emerge around six years of age. Teeth that don’t follow this normal tooth eruption pattern are not necessarily a concern, but having no teeth at all may signify a more serious concern in some cases.
Causes of Delayed Tooth Eruption
There are several reasons why a child’s tooth emerge beyond the normal schedule. In some cases, late tooth eruption could just be a family trait. Premature birth and low birth weight may also be blamed for the delayed tooth eruption and the teeth may have enamel issues that come with it.
Rare genetic abnormalities causing poorly formed teeth and delayed tooth appearance such as regional odontodysplasia and amelogenesis imperfecta can be the reason as well. Vitamin D-resistant rickets and nutritional deficiency can also lead to a delay.
Dealing with Delayed Tooth Eruption
For most children who are toothless, a delay is just an opportunity for the parents to enjoy their gummy smile a bit longer. Nevertheless, parents must setup a dental visit for their kids whose teeth erupt later than the normal schedule, particularly if they are worried the delay could mean a more serious problem. But keep in mind that, however late they erupt, caring for your child’s teeth and gums is the best start for a long-lasting oral health.
Every parent knows how difficult it is to keep a child still for too long. They love to run, jump and bang on everything. Being young, energetic and quite uncoordinated can lead to lots of falls, trips and bumps, including chipped teeth.
When this injury happens, we as parents usually end up in panic more than the child. As frightening as it may seem, a child chipping a tooth is quite common. Especially if the child has tooth decay, the weakened teeth can break and fracture. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what to do to help your child.
Dealing with Chipped Tooth
The first thing you must do is to keep calm. Breaking a tooth is a very common among kids. This situation can be fixed by dentist.
If your child is young, he/she may not be able to realize what happened. Avoid making him feel self-conscious or awkward about the chipped tooth, particularly if it is noticeable.
Understanding Treatment Options for Chipped Tooth
A better way to ease your child’s worry is to know the treatment options. While you and the dentist will eventually decide on the best option, it is good to learn what is available. The best treatment will depend on the location and size of the chip. For minor chips, the dentist will simply file the tooth to smoothen. For larger chips, the dentist may choose dental bonding – where in a bonding material is placed where the tooth chipped off – or if bonding is not possible, you may use veneers.
In the case of a very tiny crack, no treatment may be needed. Treating baby teeth is quite different. While the baby teeth are important, your pediatric dentist’s main priority is protecting the developing permanent tooth.
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