what causes teeth yellowing

What Causes Teeth Yellowing

Aside from being unpleasant to look at, yellowing teeth can be a sign of more serious health conditions. It can be the cause of low self-confidence and can prevent people from flashing their teeth and smile.

Yellowing teeth is a common problem. However, knowing its root causes (no pun intended!) can help you adopt some lifestyle changes to prevent it.

Here are some of the usual causes of teeth yellowing:

  • Aging

As we age, it is inevitable that our teeth lose its natural coating called enamel, causing its gradual discoloration. As the teeth coating gets worn out, the natural yellow color of the dentin gets revealed. Moreover, your teeth accumulate tartar as you age which contributes to turning your teeth yellow.

  • Certain drinks like tea and coffee

Coffee, soda, tea, alcohol, wine and other drinks that are acidic are among the most common reasons why teeth turn to yellow. The acid and tannins in these drinks are the culprit. Although you probably cannot avoid drinking these beverages entirely, limiting your intake can definitely lessen the possibility of discoloration.

  • Tobacco

Cigarettes and other tobacco products are harmful to the enamel of our teeth. The nicotine and tar in tobacco are what causes teeth yellowing. Although nicotine in itself does not cause yellowing, its combination with oxygen causes teeth discoloration.

Another component of tobacco that yellows the teeth is tar. When it accumulates on the oral cavity, it contributes to the yellowing of your teeth.

  • Tooth damage

When your teeth decay because of damages such as breaking and cracking, the pulp tissue of your teeth turns to yellow.

  • Certain medicines

Certain medications like tetracycline and doxycycline can cause your teeth to yellow. These drugs can affect the structure of your teeth. Other medications such as chlorhexidine and other chemotherapy drugs can also cause teeth yellowing.

  • Excessive fluoride

Fluorosis results from the excessive consumption of fluoride especially at the time when teeth are still forming. One symptom of fluorosis is the yellowing of teeth. This condition is common among children and may be incurred through accumulated intake of water and other drinks that contain fluoride.

Although not a serious disease, fluorosis causes the teeth to be unpleasantly discolored. This can be treated through teeth whitening, veneers or crowns.

  • Poor dental hygiene

Certain dental practices such as brushing and flossing, when done wrong, may cause teeth yellowing. When you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque buildup happens. Brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting your dentist for regular cleaning can help prevent the formation of plaque.

  • Genetics

Some people are just born with natural yellow teeth. Genetics plays a big role in determining the appearance of your teeth. The enamel, the outer layer of your teeth, is what makes your teeth appear white. The thicker the enamel, the whiter your teeth appear.

The layer under the enamel is the dentin, which is naturally yellow in color. When you have a thin enamel, your dentin is more visible, which means that your teeth will appear more yellow.

Proper hygiene and teeth whitening are now available if you want to address your yellowing teeth. If you are in the NYC area, contact us today.

kids activities that are bad for teeth

5 Kids’ Activities That Can Be Bad for Teeth

About 20% of children between that ages of 5-11 have at least one decayed tooth. Childhood can be a time when you learn the worst of what can happen to your teeth firsthand or a time when lifelong positive health habits develop. In order to ensure that your children have a healthy set of teeth, we have provided a guide on what your children should avoid.

  1. Using Your Teeth to Open Food and Drinks

Little children often lack the strength to open packaging on their own. Bottles, chips, and other items are opened with the mouth. This is a bad idea. This pulls the teeth in unnatural directions, and can result in chipped teeth. Even packaging as innocuous as a plastic bag can cause harm to your child’s teeth. We recommend opening food and drinks for your child. Their teeth are not tools.

  1. Sports (Without Protection)

Playing sports is one of the most fun parts of growing up. Children enjoy playing sports with their friends. It helps them understand important parts of life like teamwork, sportsmanship, and the value of hard work. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen. A mouth guard helps protect vulnerable teeth against hard floors and concrete. Terrible damage, and pain, occurs when children are hit in the mouth. Ensure that they have a mouth guard when doing physical activities.

  1. Drinking Too Many Soft Drinks

Kids love sugary food and drinks. While this might be ok in small doses, it is crucial for a child’s dental health to limit how much sugar they are taking in. Carbonated drinks are especially bad for children’s oral health. Cold drinks are even worse. A cold, carbonated, sugary drink is a perfect storm for cavities. Try to watch what your children are drinking, and stick to milk and similar beverages.

  1. Nail Biting

Between 30% and 60% of elementary school students bite their nails.  There may be a few different reasons for a child to be biting his or her nails. Whatever the reason may be, it is bad for your oral health. It can lead to cracks or chips in teeth, and will eventually wear teeth down over time. Additionally, it may also lead to misalignment of the jaw due to the angle that the jaw is at while biting your nails.

  1. Brushing Teeth Wrong

This one is the most important. You want to establish good oral health habits as early as possible, and reinforce them over time. Teach your children to brush their teeth for two minutes. When they are brushing their teeth, it should not be too hard, or your child will wear down the tooth’s natural enamel. It should not be too soft either, unless you want to deal with plaque buildup. Ask your dentist for the proper way to brush your teeth, and how you can engender the proper respect for dental health in your child.

If you have any questions about what kids’ activities could be bad for their teeth, ask your dentist. At SmilesNY, we want you to have a smile that is as healthy and bright as you are.

5 Most Common Dental Health Mistakes

Around one-third of all Americans avoid the dentist. Dentists can help show you what is wrong with your teeth and explain how to fix them. While some problems are caused by nature, people are at fault for others.

As part of our commitment to you, we have prepared a list of the most common dental health mistakes.

  1. Brushing Too Hard

Your teeth are not like any other substance on earth. They require a gentler touch. When you scrub hard, it helps to get spots and blemishes our of a rug. Your teeth do not require such harsh treatment. In fact, brushing hard will harm your teeth, in the form of enamel erosion which will ultimately result in tooth decay. Gum recession and irritation are also common when someone brushes their teeth too hard.

  1. Not Flossing

We have heard a thousand jokes about this. No matter what happens with your teeth, the dentist will say that you need to floss more when you go to the dentist. Dentists harp on it because it is incredibly important. Flossing helps eliminate the plaque buildup between your teeth and fights cavities. The addition of flossing only tacks on a minute or two to your oral health routine, and is an easy habit to fall into once you start. We highly recommend it.

  1. Using the Same Toothbrush for Too Long

Some among us are sentimental about our toothbrushes. After all, your toothbrush went with you to Spain, came through that awful relationship together, and now it is a nice reminder of home in your new apartment in the big city. Even if it has been through all that, it needs to be thrown out. We recommend that you get a new toothbrush at least once every three months. When a brush has been used for a long time, it loses its effectiveness since the bristles in the brush lose their rigidness. This, in turn, means they are not as effective in removing plaque.

  1. Brushing Right After Eating

When you eat food, especially spicy food, your teeth often get covered in certain acids from your food. Some acids weaken your teeth. Putting your toothbrush on your teeth right after eating applies pressure and can cause damage. Generally, it is a good idea to wait for half an hour before you brush your teeth. When you absolutely have to feel clean, rinse your mouth out with water.

  1. Brushing for the Wrong Amount of Time

It is generally accepted that you should brush your teeth for two minutes. It is possible to brush your teeth for too long, just as it is possible to brush your teeth for too short of a time. When you are brushing your teeth, try to focus solely on that. We understand that certain people are in a time crunch in the morning, and want to multitask, but we would recommend against that. When you do that, you might be missing parts of your mouth.

At SmilesNY, we are dedicated to making your teeth nice and healthy. If you have any questions or need a NY Cosmetic dentist, please let us know.

Why Does Dental Health Matter?

Why Does Dental Health Matter?

Dental health is one of the most neglected parts of our well-being. A lot of people do not realize that there is an intimate connection between dental health and overall health, which in turn is connected to happiness.

Oral health can affect the most fundamental needs of people such as the ability to drink, eat, swallow, smile, and communicate. This is according to the National Institutes of Health.

Oral Health in America, which was the Surgeon General’s report in 2000, stated that if a person continues to have poor oral health, it will be a silent factor promoting the start of life-threatening diseases. If we take for granted our oral health, what are the repercussions?

Read on to find out.

Top Reasons Why Dental Health Matters

  1. You can spare yourself from life-threatening illnesses.

If we do not take good care of our mouth, we subject our body to life-threatening diseases. This is because many of the signs and symptoms of several serious illnesses appear in the mouth first.

According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), one of these potentially life-threatening illnesses is heart disease. ADHA’s fact sheet says that “Numerous research studies have shown a connection between heart disease and key bacteria I periodontal disease.”

Another serious illness linked to poor oral health is diabetes. ADHA reported that 95% of Americans who have diabetes also have periodontal disease. They said that the risk of developing diabetes is increased with severe periodontal disease.

Apart from these, there is also oral cancer. Oral cancer is curable in its early stages but can cause death and disfigurement if you continue to have poor oral health. The National Cancer Institute says that oral cancer is a major cause of death in the U.S.

  1. You can save newborns from being premature and low birth weight babies.

Expectant mothers with periodontal disease are likely to deliver premature, low birth weight babies according to ADHA. Oral infection is also linked to respiratory complications. It is said that bacteria in periodontal disease can transfer from the mouth to the lungs where it can affect respiratory conditions.

  1. Prevent osteoporosis and low bone mass.

If we practice good oral hygiene and if we frequent dental clinics, we can be spared or we can curb the onset of osteoporosis and low bone mass. This is a condition that affects 44 million Americans aged 50 and over. Routine oral health exams can reveal signs that you are at the onset of osteoporosis and low bone mass.

  1. Routine oral exams can detect other health conditions.

There are other health conditions that also manifest signs in the mouth like eating disorders and HIV. A person with eating disorders shows signs of a red mouth and thin tooth enamel.

We cannot stress enough how important oral health is. A healthy mouth is a natural defense to keep bad bacteria under control. But if a person does not know why oral health matters, he or she subjects himself or herself to infections and potentially life-threatening diseases. If you are in the NYC area, get a dental checkup today to make sure you have an optimum dental health!

 

What is the difference between Orthodontal, Periodontal, and Cosmetic Dentistry?

What Is the Difference between Orthodontal, Periodontal, and Cosmetic Dentistry?

Dentistry is a complex field. 13.32 million people in the state of New York visit the dentist at least once per year, and they visit for a whole host of reasons. At SmilesNY, we believe in complete customer service. As part of our commitment to you, we will explain the difference between three big fields of dentistry.

Orthodontal Dentistry

Orthodontic dentistry revolves around the alignment and positioning of the tooth and jaw. The word comes from two Greek root words:  orthos, meaning correct or straight, and odont, meaning tooth. When your teeth are crooked, or if you have an overbite or underbite, generally you go to see the orthodontist.

A bulk of orthodontists’ work is the placing and maintenance of brackets and braces. While this is usually associated with teenagers, many adults would greatly benefit from having their teeth aligned. Modern dentistry has developed a host of new and wonderful products and techniques for making sure your teeth are straight and pretty.

Periodontal Dentistry

Periodontal Dentistry involves teeth and the supporting structures around the teeth. When most people speak of dentistry in a general sense, they are referring to this. The word comes from Greek. The first stem, peri, means around. The second root, odont, means tooth, just like in orthodontal.

All dentistry deals with the teeth. Periodontal Dentistry covers the teeth, and also the gums, the bones which hold teeth in place, and the cementum. While every branch of dentistry is medical at its core, periodontal dentistry is more likely to solve health problems, such as gingivitis, cavities, and osseous surgery.

The periodontal dentist has many tools. When you need a tooth pulled out, periodontology is the way to go. Periodontological dentists can give you teeth implants, engage in bone grafting, and lengthen your crowns. These are just a few of many instruments and techniques in the periodontal dentist’s arsenal.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is the improvement and accentuation of the appearance of the teeth and gums. In many senses, this is fairly similar to cosmetic surgery; it is not done for a functional reason, or to make the patient healthier, but to make someone more attractive. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than $2.75 billion is being spent on cosmetic dentistry every year. Despite this, the American Dental Association does not consider it to be a formal specialty. Dentists who do cosmetic dentistry must complete a degree in dentistry.

In recent years, the field of cosmetic dentistry has advanced by leaps and bounds. There are many ways to make your teeth whiter, brighter, and better looking. Dentists can completely design your smile so that you look younger, prettier, and more charming than ever before.

Many people think of teeth whitening when they think about cosmetic dentistry, but there is more to it than just that. There is some overlap with orthodontal dentistry, since people want their teeth to be straight. Periodontal dentistry also comes in to play, as healthy teeth are good looking teeth.

Cosmetic dentists place veneers, do crown inlays and outlays, and recontour enamel. They can also whiten your teeth and lengthen your teeth.

If you have any questions about dentists in NYC, call us right away. Our professional, experienced, and highly skilled staff will make your teeth healthier and better looking.

 

4 Frequently Asked Questions at the Dentist

The dentist can scare most people. According to a study by Michael Krochak, 9% to 15% of all Americans avoid the dentist due to their anxiety. This means that 30-40 million Americans are not getting the dental healthcare that they need. At SmilesNY, we are highly-professional, courteous, and totally dedicated to brightening your smile. As part of our commitment to you, we will help relieve some of your anxiety by answering a few questions ahead of time.

  1. What can I do to prepare for the dentist?

This is a big one. Before you step into the office, you are already buzzing with questions. That is completely ok. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to get yourself prepared.

One of the biggest things you can do is to get all of your documentation in order. If you are coming from another dentist’s office, it is a good idea to acquire this information, or have the information transferred to your new dentist. Furthermore, you can bring as much information as you can about your medical history, including what, if any, medicines you are taking. Your insurance information, and how you will be paying, is also vital. Make sure to bring that along as well.

  1. Does it really matter if I floss?

We have heard it a hundred times before. Flossing is the butt of jokes, and dentists make sure to mention it whenever someone comes in. Yes, it is really important to floss.

Think about it this way: you would not wash only one side of a plate. Flossing gets to the sides of your teeth that your toothbrush cannot. Plaque buildup causes massive problems, and flossing does quite a bit of work to remove bacteria which causes plaque. In addition, it removes a lot of the bacteria that causes gingivitis and gum disease.

The first few times you floss, your gums may be red or swollen. That is completely normal. Ensure that you floss daily, and that you are flossing all of your teeth. Also, make sure you are flossing the entire gap between your teeth.

  1. What are dental implants?

On occasion, a patient will not take proper care of their teeth, which means that they will eventually need a replacement tooth or a bridge. Dental implants are inserted directly into the jaw to help fix replacement teeth in place. Dentists often use them as an alternative for bridges or removable dentures.

Dental implants have quite a few benefits. First, they do not decay at all. Second, they massive improve your appearance, straightaway. Finally, it does not affect your natural teeth at all.

  1. What is cosmetic dentistry?

Dentistry is an important part of your health. It is also an important part of your appearance. For many people, someone’s smile is the first thing they recognize in another person. Cosmetic dentistry is all about making that smile brighter.

In other words, cosmetic dentistry is focused on making your teeth look as attractive as they can possibly be. It involves teeth whitening, dental veneers, porcelain onlays, and lengthening, just to give you a taste.

At SmilesNY, our professional, qualified, and experienced staff is dedicated to making your teeth healthier and prettier. If you have any questions about dentistry or us, do not hesitate to contact us today.

The 4 Worst Food for Kids

The 4 Worst Food for Kid’s Teeth

The 4 Worst Food for Kid’s Teeth

“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” – Connie Stevens

Taking care of our kid’s teeth is one of our primary concerns. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), there was a slight but significant increase in dental decay among children from the mid-1990s to 2004. This was more evident in children from ages 2-11. Starting to take care of those pearly whites at a young age will make sure that children will always have their winning smiles. So how do we take care of our kid’s teeth?

First of all, we should be aware of the worst food for kids’ teeth. We all know that brushing and flossing will not do the job for children. Most of the time, we should also keep them away from food that will damage their teeth.

Here are the worst foods you can give your child.

  1. Sticky Sweets and Hard Candies

These sweet treats contain lots of sugar which can damage tooth enamel and can cause tooth cavities. The sticky sweets also get stuck to our kids’ teeth and removing them through brushing and flossing can be a challenge.

Hard candies are also not recommended for kids because they can crack or break your kid’s precious pearly whites. They can also provide lots of nutrition for the bacteria in the mouth when your kids suck on these candies.

  1. Super Starchy Food

White bread and French fries are just two of the many starchy foods which are part of most Americans’ daily meals. Another top worst food for your kid’s teeth are potato chips. Yes, even if they are not sweet, their starch content can be easily converted to sugar.

They can be converted to sugar instantly by the pre-digestive process inside our mouths. Starchy food tends to get trapped between our teeth so you better make sure that your kids stay away from them.

  1. Cookies, Crackers, and Cereals

Surprised? Don’t be. We all know that these three Cs are part of our daily lives and we even pack them as our kids’ snacks in school. Food like cookies, crackers, and cereals are easy to break in the mouth and the bacteria inside use the sugar in these snacks to produce acid. The acid produced is harmful to our teeth. Why? These acids can dissolve tooth enamel. Imagine having your kids nibble these treats throughout the day. In order to take care of your kids’ teeth, keep them away from these foods.

  1. Carbonated Drinks

Soda has a pH level of 2-3 which is more comparable to battery water than water. The acid present in these drinks can weaken the structure of the tooth. Do not expose your kids to carbonated drinks so you can take care of their teeth.

Discipline in taking care of their teeth starts at a young age. Do not introduce them to the above-mentioned foods. Make sure to instill these values to your kids so they won’t wake you up in the middle of the night complaining about toothaches.

References

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/dental-health-for-kids-a-parents-guide-1013

http://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/the-worst-foods-and-drinks-for-kids-teeth/

 

 

The Latest Tech Industry in Dentistry

The Latest Tech Trends in Dentistry

The year 2017 has seen some major trends in dentistry. Dentistry is a field that is constantly changing and evolving. To provide excellent service, dentists must always be on the lookout for the newest technology. Keeping up with the latest trends in dental technology can improve treatment and patient satisfaction.

Here are some of the latest technological trends in dentistry that are worth looking into.

  1. 3D Cone Beam Imaging

A relatively new technology, 3D Cone Beam Imaging functions as a digital x-ray scanner that enables an unlimited amount of viewing for the different parts of the face. This technology is pain-free, and enables dentists to obtain accurate 3D images of the patient’s dental structures, bones, soft tissues, and nerves.

3D Cone Beam Imaging produces high quality images with less radiation while at the same time producing x-rays in a cone-shaped beam. This revolutionary new technology will improve evaluation and patient care significantly.

  1. CAD/CAM Digital Impressions

CAD/CAM digital impressions is a technology that allows for the creation of a replica of the mouth. This process is computer generated. It also allows a 3D image of your teeth and uses that data for fixed restorations. The accuracy which this new technology is able to deliver while also ensuring that the procedure is comfortable for the patient. This means that this a tool that a dentist must consider.

  1. Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a technique named after Sir C.V Raman, an Indian physicist whose work focused on what is called light scattering. Raman spectroscopy uses Raman light scattering to investigate dental tissues. This procedure can also be used to analyze tooth structure and identify oral cancer, as well as early dental caries.

As this technology helps diagnose cavities in their beginning stages, the problem can be addressed without the need of drilling and filling. Instead, it can be treated with a mouthwash especially designed to eliminate early cavities. This new diagnostic technique that began as an experiment is now gaining popularity and is being developed as an alternative to more traditional diagnostic tools.

  1. Lasers

This new technology enables the early detection of cavities that are sometimes undetectable by x-rays. X-rays can sometimes fail in detecting cavities especially when they are still in their early stages. The new pen-like instrument beams light into the mouth and calculates the density of your tooth. It uses light to probe into the teeth and is able to see decay through the light’s reflection on the tooth. The early detection of the weak areas of the teeth can help prevent the start of cavities.

  1. New Dental Implants

The new developments in dental implants are less painful and invasive than the old procedures. Also, instead of waiting a significant amount of time for tooth replacement, the new procedure can now be done in one visit to the dentist. The new types of implants are also stronger while the success rates of the procedures also get higher.

Recently, a new type of dental implant with a built-in reservoir was introduced. This new kind of technology reduces the risk of infection as the built-in reservoir has a cover screw that enables it to be filled with antimicrobial drugs. The implant is made from a revolutionary porous material which enables the gradual diffusion of drugs possible.

Taking care of your teeth is now made easier through these amazing technological developments. Visit your Cosmetic dentist NYC now!

Sources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170118103902.htm

http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/100098/

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/advances-in-dental-care-whats-new-at-the-dentist#3

http://www.juniordentist.com/latest-technology-trends-in-todays-dental-industry.html

http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2010/07/cone-beam-imaging-is-radically-transforming-dentistry.html

 

 

4 ways to improve your smile

4 Ways To Improve Your Smile

There’s something about having a nice, white smile that gives you extra confidence and helps to project a warm, vibrant personality. We live in the selfie era, and that means there’s more attention than ever before to how your smile looks to others. Fortunately, even if you weren’t born with perfect teeth, there are a number of different ways to improve your smile.

Method #1: Whitening

The first method is to focus on making your teeth as white and bright as possible. The easiest way to do this is by using new toothpaste that’s specifically marked as “whitening” toothpaste. At most pharmacies and supermarkets, you can also buy special whitening kits. These are meant to be used over a specific period of time, and work by bleaching your teeth a whiter color. For that reason, they are often referred to as “at-home bleaching kits.”

But perhaps the best way to whiten your teeth is by going into your dentist’s office for an annual check-up. You’ll walk away with teeth that look whiter and cleaner, thanks to the plaque that your dentist is able to remove during the visit.

Method #2: Bonding

Every notice how some people have sparkling white teeth? That may be the result of bonding, in which a white material is bonded directly to the teeth using a form of dental cement. Usually, this material is porcelain or a specialized resin. This bonded material helps to protect against corrosion and gives your smile an improved appearance.

Method #3: Braces

If you still have unpleasant memories of metallic braces from childhood, no worries. The current generation of “invisible braces” makes it possible for any adult to straighten out crooked or crowded teeth. There’s nothing better than having a nice, straight smile when it’s time for a photo. You want to be able to flash a full smile, where all the teeth are lined up nicely.

Method #4: Implants and crowns

Typically, implants are used to replace missing teeth, while crowns are used to repair and hide damaged teeth. Implants are useful because they can prevent the teeth in your mouth from shifting over time, which might lead to a change in your bite or other dental complications. Crowns are useful because they can be used to improve the appearance of your teeth. These crowns are like small caps that fit over the top of your tooth to protect it. In order for them to fit properly, though, it will require some reshaping of your original tooth.

Of course, there’s one basic method to improve your smile that you can do from home without having to go to a dentist’s office at all – and that’s brushing and flossing on a regular basis. That’s especially important if you drink a lot of coffee or smoke, both of which can stain your teeth over time. Always make sure that you replace your toothbrush on a regular basis, and that you are using one that can properly reach all areas of your mouth. By doing so, you’ll be taking an important step in improving your smile.

If you want to make your smile glow, even more, pay us a visit at SmilesNY. We will ensure that your pearly whites are as you are, and check to see if your teeth are healthy.

5 Early Childhood Dental Issues and Signs

Early Childhood Dental Issues and Signs

Early Childhood Dental Issues and Signs

If you have very young children, it might be easy to overlook their dental health care until they get older. This can be a real mistake. You could overlook a number of early childhood dental issues, that if allowed to worsen over time, could lead to more serious complications. Here’s a closer look at some early childhood dental issues and some signs to watch out for.

#1: Baby bottle tooth decay

You might think that the only way a person can get a cavity is by eating a lot of sweet, sugary foods over a long period of time. As a result, how is it possible that a young toddler might already have signs of tooth decay? The key is to realize that frequent, prolonged contact with sugary drinks – including milk and formula – may lead to the early degradation of teeth.

Thus, if you notice your small toddler falling asleep with a bottle of formula in their mouth, or if they are constantly keeping the bottle in their mouth when they aren’t hungry, that might be an early warning sign. Also keep in mind – most juices are also relatively high in sugar. That means giving your young child juice on a frequent basis might also lead to tooth decay.

#2: Thumb or pacifier sucking

While it’s perfectly normal for children to engage in thumb sucking or pacifier sucking at a very early age, if you notice this behavior past the age of 5, it could be a signal of potential problems ahead. That’s because the sucking motion will eventually cause the upper and lower jaws to move out of alignment. If left to persist for too long, it could lead to a serious overbite problem.

#3: Tongue thrusting

This type of motion – in which the tongue is pushed toward the lips during swallowing –leads to problems. In a worst-case scenario, it might lead to the front teeth being pushed out of alignment. That’s particularly true if the thrusting motion is very sudden or violent – it will have the impact of pushing against the front teeth as well.

#4: Unexpected tooth loss

Yes, all children will eventually lose their first set of teeth. But if you notice early tooth loss, that could be a bad sign. What may be happening is that a diet high in sugary foods is causing a deterioration or weakening of the teeth. The mouth will break down those sugars, and they will eventually turn into acids that work to erode teeth. So keep a close eye on your child’s diet.

#5: Any chipped or broken teeth

Young kids love to play, and some of them may not yet realize their own strength. As a result, there’s always the risk of a chipped or broken tooth. If the tooth eventually falls out after being weakened, you might need to put in a space maintainer until the new tooth grows in.

The biggest takeaway lesson here is that it is possible to prevent tooth decay. Keep an eye on your child’s behavior, and an even closer eye on their diet. Even some foods that you may think are perfectly healthy – like fruit juices – might actually be very high in sugars that deteriorate teeth over time.