Nothing makes parents happier than seeing their children smile. However, did you know that as soon as kids start getting their teeth, they can also develop gum disease? While gum disease is much more common in adults, children are not immune to its damaging effects.
One of the best ways to make sure that your child doesn’t develop gum disease is to visit the dentist regularly, but even that is not enough.
This children’s oral health month, take it upon yourself, as the parent, to know what gum disease is, and what to teach your child to prevent it from ever affecting your child’s beautiful pearly whites.
The Different Types of Gum Disease
Children are susceptible to a number of types of gum disease, of which these three you should be totally aware of:
- This is the most common type of gum disease and can affect children at any age. It causes sensitivity in the gums, as well as swelling and bleeding. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into worse types of periodontal disease, making it important for parents to watch out for early signs.
- Aggressive Periodontitis. If gingivitis is not treated, it may progress into what’s called as aggressive periodontitis. This type of gum disease mainly affects the molars, as well as the incisors and is much more common in teenagers, as well as young adults. Common complications include the loss of alveolar bone, which is basically what contains the tooth sockets that hold the teeth together.
- Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis. This type of gum disease is much more common in children who just hit puberty. It’s characterized by the excessive buildup of plaque as well as inflamed and red gums. If left untreated, generalized aggressive periodontitis can result in tooth loss.
Symptoms To Watch Out For
Since you’re not a dentist and that you’re not the one who’s possibly suffering from gum disease, it can be hard to spot the many signs and symptoms. However, it should be easy enough for you to tell if your children’s gums are bleeding or swelling when they’re brushing their teeth. Also, children who do everything they can to avoid brushing may not just be being stubborn and may already be experiencing early symptoms of gingivitis.
Now, once you start noticing sore, or, or bleeding gums in your children, take them to the dentist ASAP.
Going to the dentist can yield plenty of benefits. For one, they can remove all the built-up plaque that’s causing gum disease. Also, during the visit, they can give you further information about gum disease and how to improve your child’s dental habits to prevent dental problems in the future.
During the conversation, your child may also pick up on what the dentist is saying, which may help your child better understand just how much of a big deal gum disease is.
Better Dental Hygiene, Less Dental Problems
At home, making it a point to practice good oral hygiene every day can help prevent and even fix gum disease.
To help make your children more interested, you can start making brushing, flossing and rinsing a family activity. Also, you can try purchasing a kid-friendly product, preferably a kids toothpaste since these mostly have fun, cartoon characters outside of the tubes. Just make sure that they still contain fluoride and are from a reputable brand.
You, the parent, is your child’s first line of defense against gum disease, so make sure that you do everything you can to make sure that it doesn’t happen to them.
If you think you or your child may have a form of gum diease, contact Dr. Graham Farless DDS at 336-282-2868 to schedule a consultaion today. Learn more about Dr. Graham Farless and his practice by visiting www.gsodentist.com.