Some common dental health issues related to children

Young boy smiling underwater in a pool

Just like taking your kids to the pediatrician for regular checkups is important, so is going to the dentist. Dental problems do occur in children, but a lot of these issues can be minimized or prevented with routine cleanings and dental checkups. Brushing and flossing teeth and gums every day will also go a long way to promoting a healthy mouth.

Here are some of the more common dental concerns that kids face and how you can help prevent them:

Tooth decay
Cavities are one of the more common problems for kids. They often develop over time and they usually can’t be seen at the earliest stages. This is why regular dental checkups are so important. Cavities that are caught early can be more easily treated with fillings.

Left untreated, decay problems will advance and more extensive treatments. Sugars in drinks such as juice and even milk can lead to dental decay. Known as “baby bottle tooth decay,” this can happen when bottles are left in a crib for repeated exposure to sugary liquids, used as a pacifier.

Prematurely lost teeth
Anyone who has been around kids knows that they are full of energy. Sometimes that energy leads to accidents. Whether it’s sports-related or simply running and falling, kids can lose teeth as a result of injuries or accidents. Depending on the type of the injury or the severity of it, the tooth may need to be extracted, or a crown or root canal could be required.

Gum disease
Gum disease often impacts adults more often, but kids can have swollen and bleeding gums too. If your child’s gums are swollen and red, or bleed easily, they will need to be examined by a dentist. This is key to stopping gum disease from progressing and not causing more serious issues in the future.

Sensitive teeth
This can happen at any age, and can be due to a number of causes. Tooth enamel protects and insulates the deeper layers of teeth. When the enamel is weakened or damaged, teeth can become sensitive to temperatures and chewing, and more vulnerable to decay.

Other Physical Issues
It’s one of the first steps of self-soothing for a baby: they suck their thumbs. While there is no fear of tooth decay, excessive thumb-sucking can cause problems with normal eruption or alignment of teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that thumb-sucking is a natural form of soothing, but recommends thumb-sucking be curbed by five years of age.

Tongue thrusting – A tongue thrust is when the very powerful tongue moves forcefully forward during eating, swallowing, and speech. Improper tongue positioning can cause difficulties in speech development and can affect normal eruption and alignment of teeth in the mouth. If you have questions about the positioning and timing tooth eruption, please contact our office.

Good home care and regular visits to the dentist go a long way toward preventing dental problems. It’s important to teach your children the importance of good oral health. Stay on top of routine cleanings and encourage them to floss every day and brush at least twice daily. Using a fluoride toothpaste is also helpful in preventing cavities and improved dental health.

Great oral health at home with consistent dental cleanings will help keep dental problems at bay and help give your kid the ability to smile with confidence. Creekside Dental has been helping generations of families keep their teeth healthy, straight, and strong.

Having an issue with a teething toddler, concerned about tooth pain you’ve dealt with for a while, or is it just time to get your teeth cleaned after a few years of neglect? Schedule a visit with Creekside Dental today.