Common Problems

From the moment your child grows their very first tooth, it becomes essential to take care of their oral health. After all, healthy teeth and gums are essential for proper development, speech, and a beautiful smile. Although proper at-home dental care and regular visits to the dentist can help prevent most problems, some children still struggle with common childhood dental issues. 

At our Taylorsville, UT office, we take a proactive approach to dentistry, which means preventing problems before they start or become serious. We do this by sharing resources with parents to increase awareness and understanding of how to take care of their child’s smile. 

Below are four of the most common pediatric dental problems, along with information on how to prevent and treat them. We encourage you to review the below information and contact us with any questions or concerns. 

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

One of the most common dental problems during infancy and early childhood is baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay develops when a child’s teeth are exposed to sugary liquids for prolonged periods of time. This can occur when a child falls asleep with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice. The sugar in these liquids combines with bacteria in the mouth to form an acidic substance that attacks tooth enamel. This can cause cavities and eventually even lead to infection or premature tooth loss.  

To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle. If you must give them a bottle at bedtime, fill it with water instead of sugary liquids. In addition, make sure to clean your child’s teeth after they finish their bottle. 


Cavities are one of the most common dental problems for children of all ages. A cavity is a small hole in the tooth that develops when bacteria and acid attack the enamel. Cavities can occur when teeth are not brushed properly or when sugary foods and drinks are consumed frequently. 

To help prevent cavities, make sure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. You should also encourage them to floss daily and limit their consumption of sugary snacks and drinks. 

If your child does develop a cavity, it’s important to have it treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain, infection, and eventually tooth loss. 

Thumb Sucking

Many children suck their thumbs as a way to soothe themselves. Although this is perfectly normal behavior, it can cause problems if it continues for too long. Over time, the habit can cause misaligned teeth and problems with the bite. 

If your child sucks their thumb, it’s important to encourage them to stop before the action becomes too ingrained. There are a number of ways to do this, including positive reinforcement and reward systems. You can also discourage thumb sucking by covering the thumb or giving them an activity to do with their hands. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s thumb-sucking habit, or if it doesn’t seem to be going away on its own, please contact our office. We can assess the situation and recommend the best steps to deter the behavior. 


Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is a dental problem we often see in children first learning to brush and floss. The condition occurs if plaque and tartar are able to linger along the gumline for extended periods of time. Gingivitis can cause the gums to become swollen, red, and tender; they may also bleed when brushing or flossing. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to periodontal disease. 

To help prevent gingivitis, make sure your child brushes and flosses their teeth on a daily basis. Brushing should be performed twice a day for at least two minutes, and flossing should be done daily. You should also take them to our office regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; that way, we can remove any plaque or tartar that may have been missed.

If you think your child may have gingivitis, please contact our office. We can provide a thorough cleaning and make recommendations on how to improve their oral hygiene routine. 

Protecting Their Future Smile

Our team is eager to work with your child and encourage a foundation of dental health that they can build upon for years to come. With this, they can easily transition from primary tooth care to maintaining their permanent teeth. Regular dental visits starting at an early age are key in detecting any developing problems and implementing the necessary treatment. In dentistry, it’s important to focus on preventing problems, but it is just as important to understand how to recognize, treat, and manage them if they should arise.

For more information on pediatric dental care, please contact our office. We would be happy to answer any of your questions!

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