As parents, we want what’s best for our children and their oral health is no exception. Good oral hygiene starts when we are young, our early years play a critical role in our oral health for adulthood. To ensure their smiles remain healthy, it’s good to know the most common dental concerns that affect children. Below, we will discuss five (in no particular order) common dental issues that children may encounter and discuss some preventive measures that you can take to keep their teeth and gums in healthy condition.
- Dental trauma and accidents
Children are often active and prone to accidents, making dental trauma a concern for parents. Falls, sports-related injuries, or even rough play can result in chipped, fractured, or knocked-out teeth. If a dental injury occurs, it is crucial to contact a dentist immediately. In the case of a knocked-out permanent tooth, placing it in milk or saliva and seeking immediate dental attention can increase the chances of successful re-implantation.
- Tooth decay
Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is one of the most prevalent dental concerns among children. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to the formation of small holes in the teeth. Poor oral hygiene, excessive sugar consumption, and irregular dental visits can contribute to tooth decay. To prevent tooth decay you should encourage children to brush their teeth twice a day, limit sugary snacks and beverages, and visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
- Early tooth loss
Early tooth loss can occur due to various factors, including tooth decay, trauma, or developmental issues. Losing baby teeth prematurely can affect the alignment and eruption pattern of permanent teeth, leading to potential problems in the future. As a preventative measure parents should encourage proper oral hygiene habits and promptly address any dental issues to minimise the risk of early tooth loss.
- Prolonged habits: thumb-sucking and dummy use
Thumb-sucking and dummy use are common habits among infants and young children. While they provide comfort, prolonged or intense thumb-sucking and dummy use can lead to misalignment of teeth and improper jaw development. Most children naturally stop these habits as they get older. However, if the habit persists beyond the age of 4-5 years, it is advisable to consult a dentist or paediatrician for guidance on how to address the issue.
5. Gum disease
Although gum disease is more commonly associated with adults, children can also develop gum problems. Poor oral hygiene, certain medical conditions, and genetic factors can contribute to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease characterised by red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing. Encouraging children to brush and floss daily, providing a balanced diet, and regular dental check-ups can help prevent gum disease and maintain healthy gums.
Understanding and addressing common dental concerns for children is essential in maintaining their oral health. Regular dental visits, promoting good oral hygiene practices, and being mindful of habits like thumb-sucking and dummy use can significantly reduce the risk of dental issues. Always remember, prevention is key, so instil healthy oral care habits from an early age and consult your child’s dentist for personalised advice and treatment. By prioritising their dental health, you can ensure they grow up with a sparkling, confident smile that lasts a lifetime.
Book your child’s dental appointment at Claremont Dental online today or give us a call on (08) 9383 1200 and we can answer any questions you may have.