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Toothpicks can be an alternative to use for flossing if dental floss is not available. Remember not to be too harsh while using it.
Mouth breathing in children is very common and while a kid with open mouth might seem cute, it is not always the case. The parents need to be made aware that a child breathing through the mouth all the time is not normal and it is high time they find a way to manage it.
A little understanding of the effects of the mouth breathing habit on the child's health in general and oral health in particular can be an eye-opener for the parent. For an educated person, there are obvious symptoms, which indicate that the child is a mouth-breather.
These symptoms include:
- Dryness of the lips
- Crowding of the front teeth
- Sleeping with the mouth open
- Recurrent infections of the airways including sinusitis and middle ear infections
- Bad breath
Common causes include:
- Chronic nasal obstruction/congestion because of which the child is not able to get enough oxygen through the nose.
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Thumb or finger-sucking habit
- Recurrent respiratory infections
Effects of mouth breathing on oral health:
Mouth breathing may seem like a harmless habit, but has serious effects on the oral and dental health of the child. Some of them are discussed below.
- Dry mouth: A constantly open mouth can lead to drying up of the saliva. This in turn leads to reduced effects of saliva including the flushing effect on the bacteria and the food deposits. This leads to increased chances of tooth decay and gum diseases.
- Tooth decay: With reduced saliva, the pH remains acidic for a longer period of time, leading to increased chances of tooth decay.
- Gum diseases: Reduced amounts of saliva also leads to increased gum disease and periodontal disease as the bacteria are not removed and have a conducive environment to act upon.
- Facial development: A mouth breathing child maintains a different posture than a nose breather. This leads to a narrow and long face, flattened nose, smaller nostrils, reduced facial tone, thin upper lip, pouty upper lip, and a small lower jaw.
- Speech: An open mouth causes the tongue to thrust into the palate when talking. This leads to altered pronunciation of some sounds; especially and can cause lisping.
- Braces: Mouth breathing causes multiple challenges including prolonged treatment period, inability to close the gaps, reduced stability of the realigned teeth, and increased chances of relapse. The added complication of increased gum disease and tooth decay makes it worse. The habit needs to be corrected first before going in for braces.
If that sounds like a long list, they are not all inclusive. Early intervention in the habit can correct and negate all these effects. Talk to your dentist to know how to help your mouth breathing child.
Hello, I want white teeth but my teeth was in yellowish red in colour bcoz of I have eaten pan masala. I already go to dentist to clear color of teeth but after some time my teeth was in same color .soo what should I take to get back color of teeth.
Is babies open mouth always an indication of hunger or it just likes to be on the breast always. We are bit sceptical on whether we are feeding her sufficiently?
My mouth become shrink because of I use to chewing tobacco in past but at present it is also in same condition. What I do?
I have teeth problem. I am getting pain during in take of chocolates, ice creams, sweets etc. And I am using sensodent tooth paste. But I did not get any relaxation. Please suggest me some tips to get rid of this problem.
Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by 'sealing out' plaque and food.
Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth.
The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed.
During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.
The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.