Dental Care for Children – How to Keep Young Smiles Healthy

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A child’s dental health encompasses many facets of healthy oral tissue. From monitoring optimal eruption of teeth to addressing issues such as mouth breathing and thumb sucking, we work tirelessly to ensure each one of our young patients has every chance of developing great teeth, a functional bite, and desirable facial symmetry.  If you’ve always thought that family dentists in Calgary just instructed children on how to brush and floss, there’s a whole lot more that goes into making sure your child’s smile not only looks good but is healthy.

Dental Care for Children – How to Keep Young Smiles Healthy - Discover Dental - General Dentists Calgary

What’s so Bad About Mouth Breathing?

Have you ever watched your child when they are concentrating on colouring or reading and noticed that their lips were parted slightly? Or, when you’ve checked on your child at night, were they breathing through their mouth or their nose?  Though it may not sound like a serious concern, mouth breathing can influence the facial growth and development of a child, it can hurt speech development, and prevent proper arch formation.  As innocent as it may appear, mouth breathing in a child shouldn’t be ignored. And it isn’t just teeth and gums that suffer from this habit! The entire dental and skeletal system can be negatively impacted.  Mouth breathing may also be due to an obstruction in a child’s airway, so a medical appointment is always recommended to rule out any physical ailment.

How a Child’s Facial Growth can Impact Tooth Alignment.

The reason why mouth breathing and other oral habits like thumb and finger sucking require attention is due to the effects they have on a child’s facial growth.  Children who develop habits that keep the mouth open tend to have narrower upper palates, flatter facial features, and develop a longer face.  Facial muscle positioning is also affected by the position of the mouth and can develop in a manner that does not support the desired skeletal development.

How Does a Dentist Check For Mouth Breathing?

Establishing that a child is a dominant mouth breather is easy.  We simply ask your child to keep their mouth closed and breathe through their nose for two full minutes. It doesn’t take long to discover if they rely on the mouth as an airway.  Plus, there are other physical signs that indicate to a dentist that mouth breathing or other oral habit exists.  Misalignment of the top front teeth and a narrow palate is often a giveaway sign of finger or thumb sucking. You see, the pressure from the finger or thumb creates a higher, narrower arch and causes teeth at the front of the mouth to flare.

Helping a young child learn how to brush and floss their teeth is only part of the care a dentist provides.  From cavity protection to monitoring healthy facial development – your Calgary family dentist wants to protect your child’s smile.

Discover Dental in NE Calgary is a General Dental Practice that welcomes patients of all ages. Call us today at (403) 285-0222 to book your appointment.

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