Children, even babies consume meals high in sugar. Sugar reacts with the bacteria in the mouth to create a film over the teeth and gums called plaque. This plaque produces an acid that destroys the enamel of teeth. In children with teeth, the teeth can become decayed and get holes in the enamel. These cavities can then get inherited by the incoming permanent teeth growing in underneath them.
Bad breath is common for both adults and children. In children bad breath can be indicative of gum problems, diabetes, chronic sinusitis and digestive problems.
Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding is common amongst children. Most often, this teeth grinding is involuntary. While Bruxism isn’t caused by poor oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist will diagnose the problem early and the damage to the baby teeth as well as any accompanying pain can be minimized.
It is natural for toddlers to suck their thumbs. It is often a source of comfort as it is a natural response babies have in the womb. Prolonged thumb-sucking, such as thumb-sucking through preschool, however, can result in crooked front teeth, namely “buck-teeth” where the top, center teeth protrude outward over the teeth of the lower jaw. If the baby teeth grow in crooked or out of alignment, the probability is higher that the incoming permanent teeth will be crooked and misaligned as well. Costly and possibly multi-year orthodontic treatment may be required to correct the permanent teeth’s positioning.
Poor pediatric oral hygiene practices can also make children susceptible to gum disease. Gum disease can ultimately result in damage to the jaw bone and lost teeth if it isn’t treated. Gum disease can happen even in young children who have yet to have any teeth.