According to a report by the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, dental decay is one of the most common and chronic illnesses that occur in children. Most parents neglect their children’s oral health because they believe since they have not yet developed permanent teeth, it may not be necessary to pay attention to them.

Children are adventurous, and as they grow up, they are likely to get into occasional dental accidents or other issues as a result of bad eating habits. A child can develop dental problems like broken teeth, dental cavity and loose teeth due to certain mishaps.

Most parents fail to understand that dental problems in children can pave way for bigger oral problems in the future, such as severe gum diseases, speech-related issues, eating disorders, mental and social development issues. Here are some dental problems, which are common in children:

Bad Breath

Bad breath is also known as halitosis, and it can occur in both adults and children. Bad breath may occur due to certain diets consumed daily, but chronic bad breath could be an indication of a more serious oral problem than food-related.

When your child goes to bed without brushing, bacteria in the mouth will accumulate throughout the night while the child sleeps, leading to bad breath in the morning. This normally goes away immediately after the child’s teeth and tongue have been cleaned with fluoridated toothpaste.

However, if the smell persists throughout the day, this can be a result of a more serious oral problem that must be taken care of. These problems may include gum infections, poor oral care, and dry mouth. Other problems that may lead to bad breath include diabetes, chronic sinusitis, digestive issues, and tooth cavity.

To treat bad breath, guide your child to proper oral hygiene, ensure daily brushing up to two to three times. For severe bad breath cases, rinse your child’s mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash immediately after every meal. Supervise tongue brushing as this can fight mouth bacteria.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is also known as gingivitis, and it causes swelling and inflammation of the gum tissue. It is a disease brought about by poor dental and oral hygiene, which leads to the accumulation of plaque and tartars on the surface of the gumline.

Untreated gum disease can progress to bone damage, and your child can lose a tooth. Early stages of gingivitis can be physically detected; the gum is often reddish, swollen, and tender to touch.

Other signs of gum diseases include bleeding after brushing and flossing, chronic bad breath, and if the child consistently complains of bad taste in the mouth.

There are three different forms of gum diseases in children:

Chronic Gingivitis:

This is common gum disease in young children. The disease causes the gum tissue to get puffy or swollen, the affected area is often bright red, and bleeding can occur at any time.

Aggressive periodontitis:

This is common in growing adolescents and teenagers. This disease is brought about due to the loss of alveolar bone, which is an important tissue that gives support to the teeth.

Generalized aggressive periodontitis:

This gum disease effects can start at puberty age and it affects the entire mouth. The significant symptoms may include inflammation of the gum tissue, large deposits of tartar, and loose teeth.

To prevent your child from having gum diseases, encourage and supervise daily brushing and flossing. Go on routine dental appointments with your child. If the child is already suffering gum problems, the dentist will carry out some dental interventions like deep cleaning and special rinsing or recommend some antibiotics to tackle the problem.

Tooth Decay

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Tooth decay is common in children and adolescents and is mostly caused by bacteria in the mouth. When a child consumes sweetened food and drink, there is a deposition of acidic contents that mixes with bacteria in the mouth that forms sticky plaques, which build upon the surface of the teeth.

These plaques produce acids and wear out the tooth enamel, which is the hard outer layer of the teeth. The sticky plaque if left unattended, allows the acid to make steady contact with the tooth, and as the sticky plaque becomes tartars, which are difficult to get rid of, the teeth begin to gradually wear off.

However, tooth decay in children can be prevented if they are guided to proper oral and dental habits. Regular visits to the dentist can also be a significant way of handling the problem relating to tooth decay. Like getting your child a dental hygienist who is an expert in cleaning stained teeth.

Encourage your child to brush at least two times daily using a fluoridated toothpaste. Teach them to floss regularly as this can help evacuate food particles deposited in tight areas of the teeth. Replace all sugary beverages and juices with ordinary water and monitor the sugary food they consume, especially before they go to bed.

Sensitive Teeth

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This is another childhood dental problem. It is a dental problem that brings discomfort and pain to anyone suffering it. If your child complains after biting down or drinking cold and hot substances, the teeth are likely sensitive.

Some tooth sensitivity may not be too serious, while some are indications of an intense dental problem. To fight sensitive teeth, your kid’s dentists can place a sealant on the teeth, to strengthen the enamel and fill in cracks.

Also, try brushing your child’s teeth with a softer toothbrush. Worn-out and hard-bristled toothbrushes can gradually damage the tooth’s surface by scraping off the tooth enamel and exposing it to microscopic cracks that will cause sensitivity.

Conclusion

If you are disturbed that your child is showing signs of dental problems, you should take him or her on a dental visit for a thorough checkup. Solving your child’s dental and oral problems will help develop confidence and a smile.

Avoid giving your child bad diets that will harm their teeth. Do not leave young children to brush on their own. Teach older children to floss and brush properly and encourage them to follow you to the dentist.