There are multiple things that your local dentist is likely to suggest to help ensure that your child enjoys great dental health as an adult. Here are a few suggestions for parents who want to avoid problems with their children's unerupted permanent teeth. 

Wean Them From a Bottle Quickly

Prolonged bottle-feeding can cause multiple issues with your child's teeth. Many parents allow their children to suck formula, juice, and other liquids from a bottle. The bottle-feeding may be necessary during the first months of a baby's life. However, as soon as the child is able to drink from a cup, it is wise to quickly transition them from the bottle.

Children who drink from a bottle after their teeth have started to present have an increased risk of dental decay. Many youngsters use the bottle to soothe themselves to sleep. The practice of drinking from the bottle during naps or at bedtime can be detrimental. 

If a child does not consume all of the bottle's contents before the little one falls asleep, the liquid from the bottle rests in the oral cavity, bathing the teeth in the substance. If the liquid from the bottle is not water, it can likely cause tooth decay.

Formula and juice contain sugars that provide a great food source for oral microbes. After the bacteria feed, they release acid that eats away at the enamel of the teeth, inciting decay.  

Initially, the decay may only affect a little one's primary teeth. However, as the decay progresses, it can spread to the adult teeth that are still below the gingival surface.

Additionally, since the primary teeth guide the positioning of the adult teeth, when a primary tooth is lost early due to decay, the adult tooth that will eventually replace it may present in a misaligned configuration. The misalignment could cause your child to need braces in the future.

Discourage Prolonged Thumb-sucking

Like extended bottle-feeding, prolonged thumb-sucking can present problems for the permanent teeth that are still covered by the gums. As a child sucks a thumb or finger, pressure is placed on the little one's developing palates.This pressure can distort the palates, leading to a bite problem, such a crossbite, overbite, or underbite in the permanent teeth. 

Thumb-sucking provides a natural way for a child to calm or soothe themselves, and the practice may not be detrimental if it is stopped before the child's primary teeth start to present. However, the longer a child sucks their thumb, the more likely the thumb-sucking is to cause an alignment problem.

For more ways to protect your child's oral health, schedule a consultation with a dentist near you.