Dental Conditions in Children

Children are a precious lot to parents and society at large. As they grow, we marvel at the various changes that occur to their anatomy, physiology, psychology and ability to spend! Being a diverse species, human beings come in different shapes, sizes, shades and temperament. So do teeth! Today we will discuss the range of conditions that may be seen in children and common parental concerns, including what can be done about them, if at all.

Growth and Development

The eruption of teeth is dependent on a child's genetic make up and is not exactly the same between boys and girls or brothers and sisters. Disturbances do occur though that results in delayed eruptions of teeth. Obstruction in the path of eruption leads to teeth erupting either on top or behind other teeth. This causes misalignment of the teeth that greatly affects the appearance of the child. The child confidence is reduced while his or chewing efficiency is affected making the child a poor eater. Causes of this misalignment are several and include:

* Hereditary where the child inherits an eruption pattern of one parent where misalignment maybe a family pattern.

*In another case a child may inherit one parent's small jaw and another's big teeth hence cannot accommodate all the teeth making to appear as crowded.

*Early loss of teeth by extraction may also lead to early space closure resulting in teeth "squeezing" in during eruption.

*Habits like finger or tongue sucking have also been known to contribute in distorted growth of the jaws resulting in poor placement and eruption of teeth.

Management:

*Parents should at all times take an interest in the state of their children's mouths as this is the gateway for nutrients to ensure normal growth. Anything that looks abnormal should be reported and investigated by your dentist. Don't be shy that it may look trivial, sometimes its just what the doctor ordered!

*Milk teeth with cavities should be filled and restored so as to maintain space for the proper eruption path of the permanent teeth. In cases where extraction is unavoidable then a space maintainer should be made to maintain space.

*Dental advice should be sort to correct poorly aligned teeth so as to balance the child's bite. Depending on the severity of the problem either removable of fixed "braces" may be used.

Since children cannot really speak and express themselves, its your duty as a parent to be that mouth piece! Don't let your children suffer from illnesses that can be quickly controlled to allow for a comfortable growth and existence.