Most parents will only aim for sparkling white and straight teeth in their kids. To them, this means investing in the right toothpaste, encouraging healthy dental habits, and getting the right orthodontic treatments for straight teeth. It also includes visiting a pediatric dentist in Singapore. These steps all positively impact your child’s oral health to varying extents. However, you might, like most parents, ignore wide spaces, also known as diastema, between your child’s teeth.
Most people assume that the spaces are only because their kids’ teeth are smaller compared to their jaw, and with age, the teeth will fill the spaces. They thus see little need to have a dentist intervene when dealing with gapped teeth. Gapped teeth are attributed to habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking in kids older than three years old. They also happen because of the clenching of teeth and failure to replace teeth lost to trauma.
Without appropriate interventions for widely spaced teeth, the following are the issues your child might contend with in the future.
Gaps between teeth make the perfect spots for the accumulation of plaque. While the ordinary spaces between teeth are easy to floss and brush, wide spaces make these tasks difficult. With the continued plaque accumulation between the teeth, your child is at high risk of the decay of teeth surrounding the gap. This means another expense for the treatment of tooth decay and replacement of the tooth using a bridge or implant or maintenance of the gap with space maintainers for permanent dentition.
When bacteria and plaque accumulate in the gaps between teeth, they also affect the gums. This causes periodontal diseases in varying degrees. When severe, gum disease causes the deterioration of the jawbone and can lead to the loosening of other teeth. It takes time to treat gum disease effectively, and the treatments used for them are quite expensive.
The teeth are meant to work together. When there is a large gap in their outline, other teeth will shift towards this gap. When that happens, most will be crooked. The misalignment affects the way the teeth meet. As such, the surfaces of some teeth might become worn out because of the continued brushing against others. This means you will be left dealing with extensive dental misalignment and worn-out dental enamel that leaves the teeth’s inner layer exposed to damage from environmental elements.
Digestion starts in your child’s mouth. When not properly digested, the balanced food you give them will hardly have an impact on their health. With gaps between teeth, the proper chewing of food becomes an issue. Kids will thus swallow inadequately broken down food that cannot be absorbed by the body. This contributes to poor nutrition status.
You now know that ignoring spaces between a child’s milk and permanent teeth sets the stage for costly and extensive issues later. Irrespective of how small the gap might be, you should get a dentist’s opinion on what should be done. Some cases might only need monitoring, but others need treatments like braces that will move the teeth near the gap to close it or an implant to fill the gap.