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Understanding Tooth Sensitivity in Children: Tips and Tricks for Parents

Tooth Sensitivity in Children

Are your little ones experiencing discomfort when enjoying their favourite treats or sipping a warm cup of milk? Well, worry not because Tooth sensitivity is a general dental issue that affects both adults and children. However, in children, it can be more challenging to diagnose and treat. They can have exposed dentin that causes sensitivity if they have a cracked tooth or new teeth. Join us on an informative exploration of children’s tooth sensitivity and discover valuable knowledge, tips, and tricks to ensure your kids smile without discomfort.  

What is Tooth Sensitivity?  

Tooth sensitivity is a prevailing dental problem that causes discomfort or pain when the teeth get exposed to certain stimuli, such as cold, hot, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. It occurs when the protective layer of the teeth, called enamel, is worn down or damaged, exposing the underlying layer, called dentin, which contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerves of the teeth. These tubules often get triggered by brushing, eating hot or cold food, and sweets causing pain and irritation.   

Other factors include gum disease, a worn filling, a chipped tooth, or a cavity, which can cause enamel to deteriorate.   

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity in Children?   

There are several reasons why kids experience tooth sensitivity, including:  

  • Poor dental hygiene: When children do not brush and floss their teeth regularly, their teeth and gums get exposed to plaque and bacterial buildup, which results in gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth sensitivity.
  • Cavities: Children’s teeth may also become sensitive due to tooth decay and cavities. On the tooth’s surface, cavities are tiny spots of tooth decay. These little regions may develop over time, moving into the teeth and possibly exposing the sensitive pulp. Tooth decay can damage the enamel and cause sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures before a cavity reaches the pulp. 
  • Gum recession: Gum recession is when the gums move away from the teeth, exposing the roots, which do not have enamel protection and are more susceptible to stimuli. Read our blog on the Importance of Gum Health in Children to learn the general tip for healthy 
  • Bruxism: If you have caught your child grinding too often, it’s a sign for you to be cau Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a condition characterised by the grinding or clenching of teeth. It usually occurs during sleep but can also happen during waking hours. Children with bruxism may experience jaw pain, headaches, worn tooth enamel, and disrupted sleep. This habit can damage the enamel of the teeth and cause sensitivity.  
  • Sinus Infection: It may surprise you, but sinus infections can cause your child’s teeth to become weak and sensitive. Pressure in the sinuses, located just above the top row of teeth, is caused by fluid accumulation and swelling. The fluid has the potential to ‘squeeze’ the nerves in those teeth, causing discomfort in the mouth and teeth. 

How to identify if your child has sensitive teeth?   

If you suspect your child may have sensitive teeth, look out for these symptoms. One common indication is their reaction to hot or cold foods and beverages. It could indicate tooth sensitivity if your child experiences discomfort or pain when eating ice cream, drinking hot chocolate, or consuming other temperature-sensitive items.   

Additionally, your child may exhibit sensitivity when brushing or flossing their teeth. It could indicate sensitivity if they wince or feel discomfort while performing their oral hygiene routine. Even a toothbrush’s bristles or the pressure applied during brushing may trigger pain or discomfort in sensitive areas.  

It’s essential to consult a dentist if your child has sensitive teeth. A dental professional can conduct a thorough examination of the severity of the sensitivity.  Don’t worry. There are solutions to your child’s dental problems. And with proper care and routine hygiene, your child will never have a dental problem. 

If you are looking for child dentistry in Perth, Alpha Dental is the perfect dental clinic for all your dental-related queries. Alpha Dental is passionate about helping your child achieve and maintain optimal oral care and hygiene for a healthy, bright smile.    

Treatment and Prevention for Tooth Sensitivity in Children  

Tooth sensitivity is common in children. In some circumstances, like when the child has a sinus infection or new teeth grow, dental sensitivity may go away on its own.   

Depending on the degree of sensitivity and what caused it, the dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:   

  • Fluoride treatment: Mineral fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity. The dentist will apply fluoride gel or varnish to the teeth for children older than six or recommend fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash. 
  • Anti-sensitivity toothpaste: Anti-sensitivity toothpaste contains compounds that block the tubules in the dentin and reduce sensitivity. Opt for the best anti-sensitivity toothpaste the dentist recommends for the younger ones.   
  • Dental filling: If a cavity causes sensitivity, the dentist may remove the decayed part of the tooth and seal it with filling materials. Dental fillings are the most basic treatment used to treat sensitive teeth.  
  • Soft-bristle brush: Some young children may brush their teeth quickly and wear down the enamel because they are excited to do so. Change your child’s toothbrush to one with softer bristles so it doesn’t cause discomfort while brushing. 

Prevention of Tooth Sensitivity in Children  

Preventing tooth sensitivity in children starts with good dental hygiene habits, which include:  

  • Brushing twice a day with anti-sensitivity toothpaste and flossing the teeth once It helps remove plaque and the remains of food fragments between the gum line and teeth. 
  • Pick a gentler toothbrush with soft bristles.  
  • Switch to an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor and timer. 
  • Replace your child’s toothbrush every two to three months. 
  • Limit your child’s foods and beverages high in sugar and acid. 
  • Encourage your child to drink more water.  
  • Encourage children to start drinking from a regular cup as soon as possible, as the liquid may gather near their teeth if they drink from a sippy cup. 
  • If your child grinds their teeth at sleep, get them a mouthguard. 
  • Teach your children to rinse their mouths after meals, especially if they consume foods high in sugar or acid. 
  • Visit the child’s dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings. 

Children Dentistry by Alpha Dental Clinic  

Alpha Dental is the go-to destination for children’s dentistry. With a focus on providing gentle and comprehensive dental care, our team of experts understands the needs of our young patients. From preventive treatments to addressing specific dental concerns, we ensure a positive and comfortable experience for children.   

We chat with them to ensure their comfort in the dental chair before we start any dental work. Our ceiling TV plays cartoons to keep them entertained and ease them into the dental chair if they feel anxious or nervous.  

With our child-friendly approach and commitment to oral health education, we strive to create a foundation of lifelong dental wellness for every child who walks through the doors. Trust Alpha Dental to be your partner in your child’s dental journey, promoting healthy smiles for years.  

To conclude, Tooth sensitivity can be a painful and uncomfortable dental problem for children, but it can be prevented and treated with proper dental care and regular visits to the dentist. As a parent, teaching your child good dental hygiene habits and taking them to a dentist who can diagnose and treat any dental issues is essential. If you have concerns regarding your child’s oral health, do not hesitate to contact Alpha Dental and schedule a consultation.