Everyone knows that childhood is full of bruised knees and scraped elbows, and kids’ dental issues are all too common as well. Most parents are not shocked to learn that of all the dental problems in children, cavities are the most common; in fact, about 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Because of the havoc cavities can wreak on oral health, it is important to stay up to date with your child’s bi-annual checkups and cleanings. Once your child reaches adolescence, it’s vital that they maintain their dental checkup schedule—about 13% of kids aged 12 to 19 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Preventing Cavities in Children
Though cavities are undeniably a pervasive issue for children, they can be prevented with fluoride treatment and consistent brushing.
Because cavities are one of the most stubborn child and toddler teeth problems, they sometimes require additional preventative measures. Pediatric dental sealants are an option for kids who are prone to cavities, who have poor brushing or flossing habits, whose diets consist of sugary snacks and drinks, or who simply need a quick and non-invasive means of preventing cavities.
Parents can also take a proactive approach to cavity prevention. For babies, parents can wipe their child’s gums with a clean, soft cloth twice a day—this will eliminate the presence of sugars and bacteria. Additionally, they can begin brushing their baby’s teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water as soon as they appear, and start visiting the dentist on the baby’s first birthday.
For children, parents can ensure that their kids are brushing their teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, drinking tap water (which contains fluoride), and they can discuss sealant options with the kids’ dentist.
Collectively, these measures will prove rather effective at minimizing dental problems in children.
Other Common Dental Issues for Children
Though cavities are at the top of children’s dental concerns, there are other dental issues that parents should also be aware of, including:
- Tooth decay — Decay develops slowly, but it impacts 40% of kids between the ages of two and five.
- Tooth sensitivity — In kids, sensitivity can be caused by a wide range of underlying factors, but many of them are treatable by a dentist.
- Dental emergencies — Many children are accident-prone; a broken, chipped, or cracked tooth can be painful, so tending to dental emergencies promptly is important.
- Early gum disease — If a child’s gums appear red and swollen, it’s a telltale sign that they are experiencing early gum disease.
- Tooth misalignment — Also known as malocclusion, this issue generally must be addressed with orthodontic treatment once the child is old enough.
The best way to ensure a child’s oral hygiene and avoid future dental issues is to establish regular care with a dentist. Ascent Dental is always accepting new patients, and we’re well-versed in pediatric dentistry—contact us to set an appointment and keep your child’s oral health in good standing.