Some parents are surprised to find out that their toddlers need dental care just like the rest of the family do. Making an early start when it comes to your child will instill healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. To find out more about helping your childcare for their teeth at an early age, read on.

Why Start Early?

For a long time, parents believed in the myth that baby teeth were not prone to cavities. Some might also reason that baby teeth are only temporary and decay doesn't matter since baby teeth will eventually fall out to be replaced by permanent teeth. Unfortunately, baby teeth may need more care than previously thought. Additionally, good oral hygiene needs to start early so that the child gets accustomed to seeing the dentist on a regular basis.

Pediatric Dental Problems

Toddlers and young children face many of the same issues that older children and adults do with their teeth. This age group, however, has a few unique dental issues that affect them almost exclusively:

  • Bite Problems – If your child has used or is still using a pacifier or sucks their thumb, you might want to have their bite examined for problems. Doing so habitually can cause bite misalignment that could create more problems down the road with chewing and appearance.
  • Decay – In some families, the tendency to have tooth decay is inherited. Other children are just prone to more decay. Decayed teeth should be addressed by the usual method: drilling and filling. Unfortunately, children present the need for special care when it comes to anesthesia choices for several reasons. It's important for the child to not associate the dentist with pain, so keeping the discomfort out of the procedure is key. Children have special needs when it comes to anesthesia and you might want to consult with a pediatric dentist with special training. Additionally, children have a tendency to squirm and move about. Some sedatives may be needed to keep them still during the procedure.
  • Injury – It's not uncommon for children who are just learning to pull up and walk to take a spill and injure their mouth. Any emerged teeth could be knocked loose or cracked and should be addressed to prevent discomfort.
  • Emerging Teeth – In some cases, baby teeth want to stubbornly stick around past their welcome. When permanent teeth try to emerge before the loss of a baby tooth, misalignment and discomfort are likely to result.

To find out more, speak to your family or pediatric dentist.