Children's Oral Care ProblemsPublished 05/03/2013
As a parent who pays special attention to their child’s oral health, it can often be quite shocking to discover that your child has cavities, or even something worse, like gum disease!
But did you know that most every problem with your children’s teeth is fairly common?
And did you also know that such complications can not only be prevented, but also quickly cured?
It’s Not Your Fault!
You shouldn’t necessarily blame yourself as the parent if your pediatric dentist alerts you to some amendments that need to be made with your child’s oral care. More often than not this just means they are going through the typical motions in childhood oral health.
In fact, a better way to perceive this is that kids who don’t run into at least one of the most common oral care problems are doing far better than average at keeping a healthy smile.
What are the most common childhood oral health issues then? We’ve compiled a short list for you, so that if your child does run into oral health problems, you as the parent can know whether or not to be worried.
Child’s Oral Care – Common Problems:
Teething occurs with every infant, but one thing to be aware of is that some will suffer more than others. If your child has extreme irritability, gum swelling, or any major pain during teething then there are sugar-free, infant teething gels that your dentist can recommend.
Remember to always consult your doctor before giving your children any kind of medication.
This may come as a surprise, but gum disease is actually fairly common in that the early stages can easily come about without proper oral health care. All it takes to swell the gums and cause minor bleeding is enough tartar and plaque buildup on the gum-line.
Fortunately minor gingivitis can often be alleviated simply by improved brushing habits and continuing regular dental visits.
One of the major differences between children’s teeth and adult teeth is that a child’s teeth have weaker layers of enamel. Therefore a child’s teeth are more susceptible to sugary drinks like soda and juices. If decay is left or overlooked by improper brushing, then it can start to form a cavity.
Cavities generally don’t start to hurt until the later stages, so if your child is complaining about pain then you shouldn’t wait for their next check-up to address the issue. If your child does happen to get tooth decay or a cavity, the problem can usually be caught early on, if not prevented by their regular dental appointments.
One thing that parents might overlook when giving their kids juice or sodas (even diet!) is that they are quite acidic, and acid can slowly erode a tooth’s enamel, especially when drinking out of a bottle.
Toothpastes and mouthwashes are designed to strengthen enamel and help fight off such things, but with over-consumption or without proper brushing it’s not hard for a child to end up with some erosion of the enamel. Weak enamel is prone to tooth decay, so be sure to take the right steps to prevent it!
Cutting back on drinking from bottles, restricting carbonated drinks to mealtime, drinking only water after brushing at night – all of these are helpful ways to avoid acid erosion.
Sometimes, and especially when we are young, teeth can be knocked out. Whether it’s rough-housing, accidents, sports, anything really – kids have a knack of finding ways to lose a tooth. Rest assured though, you’re not the only parent left wondering what to do when your child brings back a cupped hand and a bloody mouth.
The best thing to do is to talk to your pediatric dentist. In the meantime you can try to prevent a lost tooth from drying out by placing it in a glass of milk, or having your child tuck it into their cheek.
Sometimes your dentist may observe small sores inside your child’s mouth. These red or yellow annoyances are ulcers, and they’re fairly common. Some typical causes of ulcers are: bad brushing, biting the inside of the cheek, hot food or drink burns, brace abrasions, etc.
Usually ulcers dissipate in a few days, and they can be treated with antiseptic rinses, so they aren’t too much to worry about. If they persist though, you should schedule an appointment or ask your dentist for advice.
Of course there are more complications that can occur with your child’s oral health, but these are the problems that we most commonly come across. As you can see, they are relatively minor issues, but each of them does need to be addressed to avoid any major problems.
If you aren’t sure whether or not to wait for your kid’s next dental appointment, then just ask! The best way to ensure your child keeps a healthy smile is to coordinate with your dentist in overseeing proper oral care.
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