If you child complain of discomfort or pain when eating hot or cold foods, he may be experiencing tooth sensitivity. As parents, you can’t stand seeing your child suffering from any pain. Below are the common causes why kids may experience sensitive teeth so you will understand this condition and be prepared to bring your LO to the dentist.
New Teeth. A newly-emerged teeth can cause sensitivity when exposed to food and air. However, as the teeth get used to the environment, this unpleasant sensation should gradually cease.
Cavities. Dental decay are very common in kids and this leads to sensitivity.
Cracked or broken tooth. Clenching or grinding the teeth may lead to tiny cracks and breaks on the teeth resulting in sensitivity.
Improper brushing. While improper brushing won’t likely lead to tooth sensitivity, it is important to make sure your child won’t suffer from sensitive teeth in the future by teaching him proper dental care such as proper brushing technique. Demonstrate how to do gentle circular motion to protect the nerves and preserve the tooth enamel.
Allergies. Allergic reactions on sinuses can cause a sensitivity-like sensation on the tooth. This is due to the pressure caused by the condition.
Orthodontics. Kids with braces often do a back and forth motion when brushing. This can gradually scrub away the tooth’s protective layer enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity over time.
How to Solve Tooth Sensitivity in Kids
There are several ways to solve sensitive teeth among kids. One way is to use a desensitizing toothpaste. However, it is important to see first your pediatric dentist before using a desensitizing product, particularly for children under age 12.
If the cause of tooth sensitivity is cavities, performing an in-office fluoride treatment can provide relief. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel and lowers the risk of further decay. Along with fluoride treatment, teaching good oral care habits can reduce the teeth sensitivity.
Tooth brushing two times a day, along with flossing can maintain the gums and teeth clean and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Using soft bristle toothbrush will prevent irritation from vigorous brushing and help preserve the enamel.
If the tooth sensitivity persists, it is best to consult your dentist.
With the numerous options to choose from, deciding a toddler’s toothbrush can often be tricky. Little kids love toothbrushes that have bright colors and characters so they can enjoy brushing.
So what are the choices of toothbrush for your child?
Finger toothbrush can gently clean a baby’s emerging teeth and gums. The brush is made from pure silicone, so it is very soft, comfortable and won’t cause irritation on the baby’s sensitive gums. Finger toothbrush can be used with or without toothpaste. If you want to use a toothpaste, be sure that it has no fluoride. Some baby toothpastes come in fruity flavour and contain Xylitol to give a sweet taste.
The fun part about finger toothbrushes is that they look similar to finger puppets, so you can easily trick them by pretending it’s their playtime session. To use it, simply place the finger brush over your index finger. Wet the brush and gently massage the baby’s gums and teeth.
A baby toothbrush is different from the typical ones. With small heads and extra large handles, they fit perfectly into your child’s tiny oral cavities. Most parents simply use soft cloths for cleaning but professionals actually recommend the use of baby toothbrushes.
Kids love battery-powered toys and electric toothbrush are no exception. Electric oscillating brush can effectively remove more plaque than manual toothbrush and it makes tooth brushing faster. Some products come with timers so your child can get used to the recommended 2-minute brushing habit.
A manual toothbrush is good for kids over five years old as it allows them to hone their brushing skills. Ideal toothbrushes for kids’ this age are those with thinner handles. The reason is that they have wider tooth surfaces to brush and have already achieved a stronger grip.
Does Age Matter?
No matter the age of a child, your kids’ teeth must be cleaned twice a day to ensure health teeth and gums and proper oral health. Always supervise your kids’ brushing to make sure they’re doing it right.
In addition, kids toothbrush should be replaced more frequently. It should be replaced when the bristles are already slanting or every three month. Also, get a new one after your child gets sick. Using an infected toothbrush may cause an illness or make the illness last longer.
Tip: Since you’ll be replacing your child’s toothbrush more frequently, you may consider buying a few extra toothbrush so you won’t be bothered to go out when replacing your child’s brush.
Maintain proper dental care can be challenging task for many parents, but for parents with special needs children, such task can be an uphill battle and sometimes, risky.
Maintaining Daily Oral Hygiene
Most children with special needs cannot perform their daily dental care independently. Parents or caregivers must always be there to assist them. It’s not an easy task to clean another person’s teeth, particularly if they resist it. Sometimes, more than one person may be needed to help with their daily toothbrushing.
Kids with restricted motor skills and coordination may find tooth brushing easier with the use of a powered toothbrush. Unlike the manual brush, the head of an electric toothbrush works quicker and can clean better.
There are some types of toothbrush that can make cleaning more efficient. For kids with high risk of aspiration, using a suction toothbrush connected to a home suction apparatus is a better option to get rid of saliva during tooth brushing.
An ideal toothbrush for kids with special needs is the Collis Curve toothbrush. It has curved design bristle that can clean all the sides of the teeth while preventing the risk of poking the bristle on the gums.
Some special kids may resist oral cleaning by biting the toothbrush. To protect the parent and the child, a mouth prop can be used. Also called open wide disposable mouth rests, this wedge-shaped device is placed on the front part of the mouth so the child can rest their jaw muscles.
If you can’t find a mouth prop, you can use five wooden tongue depressors and join them together using adhesive tape.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
It is necessary that kids with special needs visit their pediatric dentist on a regular basis. When it comes to oral health and dental care, the rule applies to all children and kids with special needs are not exempted. This ensure that daily dental care techniques can be reinforced or taught and minor issues can be detected before they turn serious.
Diastema refers to a gap between two teeth. It often appears between the two upper front teeth, but sppaces may happen on any two teeth.
What Causes Diastema?
Tooth gaps occur for various reasons.
There may be a mismatch between the size of the teeth and the jaw bone, causing crowding of the teeth or more space between the teeth. Gaps may also occur when the teeth are too tiny for the jaw bone. In some cases, a tooth may be missing or just too small. This often occur with the teeth next to the upper front teeth called upper lateral incisors.
Certain habits may lead to space between teeth. Having improper swallowing reflex is one. Most people press their tongue against the palate (the roof of the mouth) when swallowing. However, some children have a unique reflex called tongue thrust (reverse swallow) – when the tongue presses against the front teeth, pushing the front teeth and creating pressure. This can cause diastema.
Thumb sucking is another habit that can create gaps.
Kids often have temporary teeth spaces once the baby teeth begins to fall out. However, these gaps resolves on their own when all permanent teeth erupts and reach their exact positions.
What are the Symptoms of Diastema?
If a tooth gap occurs due to mismatch between the jaw and the teeth, there will be no symptoms. But if it is caused by a periodontal disease or by a tongue thrust habit, the gap will expand over time. Pain may occur during biting or chewing and the teeth may get loose.
How to Prevent Tooth Gap in Kids?
Unfortunately, not all diastema can be prevented. One example is when a child has a mismatch of jaw size and teeth or if he/she has a missing tooth.
Breaking the habit of tongue thrusting can prevent diastema. You can correct you child’s swallow reflex by exercising their tongue, pressing it against the palate.
Preventing periodontal disease through regular brushing and flossing can help prevent tooth spaces.
How to Correct or Treat Diastema in Kids?
Some kids can get braces to simply move the two teeth together. When there’s an existing diastema, a child needs to wear a complete set of braces – both for lower and upper teeth. The reason is because closing any tooth gap can affect the whole mouth.
Another way to fix diastema is to widen a too small teeth with veneers, crowns or bonding. For missing teeth, a bridge, partial denture or a dental implant may be needed.
If your chid has a gap between teeth, talk to your pediatric dentist Bellevue. She can determine the cause for the gap and may advise treatment with braces.
Mint Kids Dentistry