No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

How A Lack Of Dental Enamel Can Affect Your Child

by Jeremiah Barnett

Have you heard of amelogenesis? You, like the vast majority of people in the world, have probably already gone through amelogenesis. It's the process of dental enamel formation, and don't worry if you've never heard of it, since it's an invisible process, occurring beneath your gums, while your teeth are in the final stages of development, ready to grow from your gums. But why does amelogenesis not always occur for some people? And what can you do if this affects your child?

A Developmental Defect of Enamel

Amelogenesis is triggered by the enamel organ, and when the process is incomplete or fails to create enamel, then a developmental defect of enamel can be diagnosed. There are many causes of this issue, but these causes are primarily genetic. This developmental defect can make your child more susceptible to cavities, meaning that dietary factors (excessive exposure to sugars and refined carbohydrates) can be even more destructive to your child's teeth, since the protective enamel coating their teeth is irregular or even absent. 

More Vulnerable to Cavities

Your family dentist becomes an even more important ally in your child's healthcare when they have a developmental defect of enamel. Given the fact that your child's teeth are considerably more vulnerable to cavities, their ongoing dental health requires close monitoring. Your dentist could suggest more frequent appointments to maintain this level of monitoring, allowing them to swiftly identify and counteract any dental problems as they emerge. Beyond that, any additional requirements are largely preventative.

Varnish and Sealants

These preventative measures can include the regular application of fluoride varnish during your child's appointments. This is a means of increasing your child's teeth resistance to corrosion. In addition to fluoride varnish, your child might benefit from a dental sealant. This is a transparent coating of plastic applied to problematic teeth. The sealant acts like artificial dental enamel, and will need to be reapplied once it has worn away. 

Baby Teeth and Adult Teeth

Any preventative measures will be ongoing while your child retains their baby teeth, and once these teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth, these will be assessed to look for signs of a developmental defect of enamel. The issue might be carried over from one set of teeth to the next, but the level of severity (and the subsequent best form of preventative care) can be different once your child has their permanent teeth.

A developmental defect of enamel isn't going to be a huge problem for your child, as long as you're vigilant about their dental health. For more information about dental health issues that could affect your child, talk to a family dentist in your area.