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  • Writer's pictureDr. Peter - Pediatric Dentist in Arlington, Virginia

Preventing Early Childhood Dental Problems

Are you doing enough to protect your child from the most common pediatric dental problems? Our Arlington Kids Dentist weighs in on preventing early childhood dental problems.

Children are at risk for a number of dental problems, even before their first tooth! Problems that can affect growth and development, speech, eating ability, and development of self confidence. Your favorite pediatric dentist in Arlington encourages teamwork and education at dental visits so that parents are aware of dental problems that can be seen during early childhood.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay - Sugar is the most destructive force on teeth and provides fuel for the bacteria that is naturally in every baby's mouth. This creates acids that can lead to cavities. Sugar in juice, milk, and formula can contribute. Baby bottle decay is most commonly found when a baby or toddler sleeps at night with a bottle. The constant frequency of sugar exposure leads to decay very quickly.

Thumb sucking - After age 3, continued thumb sucking can lead to misaligned teeth, an overbite, and possible abnormal development of jaws and a palate. Although these problems may be corrected with orthodontist treatment in the future, it's possible to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place by being proactive.

Tongue Thrusting - Although this can be one of the most difficult problems to notice, if the tongue presses against the front teeth constantly due to a subconscious habit, the front teeth can be moved forward into something called an overbite. This can affect a child's speech as well as their permanent tooth spacing. Our pediatric dentist may recommend an appliance to try to correct this habit before it causes permanent damage.

Early Tooth Loss - If a baby tooth is lost too soon because of cavities, emergency accidents, or just a lack of space, the adult teeth may not have enough space to come in or come in misaligned. This can lead to crowding, impacted teeth, jaw problems, speech problems, and more! If a tooth cannot be saved, our pediatric dentist may recommend a space maintainer to hold space until these adult teeth can come in. Although we are not orthodontists, we have specialized training in evaluating and trying to prevent these problems before they occur through screening.

VK Pediatric Dentistry

5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207


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