When you think about tooth sensitivity, it is unlikely that you will think about our child in relation. But it’s normal to only think about adults when tooth sensitivity comes up. This is why many parents are shocked when their kids complain about tooth sensitivity.
If you cannot bear the discomfort of tooth sensitivity, imagine what your child feels. It is painful and needs immediate attention to guarantee proper growth of teeth and optimum oral health. Luckily, the information below talks about sensitivity among children. It outlines the causes, symptoms, and available treatments. So stop panicking, and keep scrolling to learn more.
Does My Child Have Tooth Sensitivity?
First, you might be wondering if your child has tooth sensitivity or it’s an entirely different thing. It can be difficult to tell, especially if you have a young child. The child may fail to express how they feel clearly.
However, you can tell if it’s tooth sensitivity by noting when the child complains. If the child complains about their teeth hurting after eating cold food such as ice cream, it is tooth sensitivity.
The same applies if the child complains while eating hot food or hot chocolate.
Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity In Children
So what causes tooth sensitivity in kids? There are several causes, but the most common are:
- Cavities. Cavities are permanently damaged areas on the teeth that develop into holes, leading to breaking. Children are prone to cavities because of high sugar intake in the form of candy and desserts. If your child has cavities, the dentine layer is likely exposed, causing sensitivity.
- New teeth. When your child grows new teeth, it may take time to get used to the environmental factors. As such, some kids have tender new teeth that experience sensitivity when exposed to food, beverages, and even air. This rectifies itself with exposure.
- Improper dental habits. Brushing the wrong way or using too much pressure leads to erosion of the enamel. Additionally, brushing too much will leave the dentin exposed. This also occurs if your child uses too much toothpaste. With The enamel gone, your child will experience tooth sensitivity.
- Orthodontics. Similarly, kids with braces can only use the back and forth motion to brush their teeth. This erodes the enamel over time, causing sensitivity.
- The foil of Fillings. Silver amalgam fillings have a high thermal conductivity. Therefore, kids with this type of filling will experience tooth sensitivity.
- Sinus problems. Children with sinus problems such as allergies will experience a sensitivity-like sensation on the teeth. When pressure and congestion build up in the sinuses, it causes pressure in the head, affecting the roots of the teeth.
Signs Of Tooth Sensitivity In Children
If your child displays any of the following, they may have tooth sensitivity.
- Pain when eating or drinking hot and cold food and beverages
- Eating less
- Sucking on the teeth
- Rubbing teeth constantly
- Disrupted brushing practice
- Sinus infections- runny nose
Treatment For Tooth Sensitivity In Children
If you have confirmed that your child is experiencing tooth sensitivity, don’t panic. There are many solutions to ensure that they grow healthy teeth in the future.
Some of the recommended treatments for tooth sensitivity in children are:
1. Desensitizing toothpaste
First, you can buy your child desensitizing toothpaste. This type of toothpaste contains compounds that shield the nerve endings in the mouth from irritants. Therefore, using a desensitizing toothpaste will protect the teeth’ nerve endings from extreme temperatures.
When buying a desensitizing toothpaste, look for potassium nitrate among the ingredients. It blocks pain transmission. Additionally, go for a toothpaste with fluoride to strengthen the enamel.
Ensure that your child does not overuse the toothpaste to prevent further enamel erosion.
2. Fluoride treatment
Fluoride will strengthen your child’s teeth. It is why so many dentists recommend using fluoride-infused toothpaste regularly. If your kid experiences sensitivity with no underlying issues, consider fluoride treatments.
The simplest form is to ensure they drink water. Most states in the US put fluoride in the water supply. This ensures that anyone who drinks the water receives fluoride. If you have fluoride in your water supply, ensure your child drinks the water.
Additionally, you can purchase fluoride tubes of toothpaste and mouthwash for your child. Ensure the child uses these products to improve the strength of the enamel.
3. Good dental care habits
Next, you can teach your child good dental habits to prevent further erosion of the enamel.
First, teach your child the importance of brushing their teeth. Then teach them how to brush correctly. Show the small circles motion across the teeth, all the way to the back. Ensure that the child applies the right amount of pressure to prevent over-brushing.
Next, teach the child not to rinse so that the fluoride does not wash away with the water. You can also throw in instructions about using mouthwash and dental floss.
If your child’s sensitivity issues are because of cavities, you should consider dental fillings from a professional pediatric dentist.
Dental fillings fill the holes caused by cavities. This will seal the hole, preventing dentin exposure and reducing sensitivity. The best thing about fillings is getting them in tooth-color to reduce the chances of feeling weird or less confident when smiling. And if you are worried about foil fillings causing more density, the dentist will present you with options such as resin.
5. In Conclusion
Tooth sensitivity in children requires immediate attention, especially if your child has permanent teeth.
Proper care of these teeth ensures that the child does not face problems in the future. Additionally, it makes them less susceptible to infection. Failure to do so will bring poor oral health.
Ensure that you seek professional advice from a qualified pediatric dentist before applying the treatments above.
And remember, it is always better to go to a pediatric dentist because they have more experience dealing with children’s teeth.
Finally, encourage your child to take up a healthy and balanced diet. Limit candy, desserts, carbonated drinks, and hard foods. Instead, provide fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, and lots of water.