Whether your child is one month old or 18 years old, their oral health is extremely important. The neglect of pediatric dental care can have significant effects on a child's life in their adult years. Oral health care should be started even before your child cuts their first tooth. Even with regular brushing, flossing, and routine visits to their pediatric dentist, children may still develop dental problems, such as cavities. It is important to seek treatment for children's dental problems as soon as possible to prevent the risk of more serious dental problems following them into adulthood. Along with routine exams and cleanings, here are some of the common dental problems that pediatric dentists can help with.
Children often consume more sugar and starches than parents are aware of, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Eating sugar and starches causes an increase in harmful bacteria in the mouth, which produces an acid that ultimately eats away at tooth enamel, causing cavities and tooth decay. If cavities in children aren't treated, they have a high risk of damage to their permanent teeth before they even grow in. A pediatric dentist can repair a cavity by removing the decay and filling in the hole with a dental filling. Along with preventing your children from eating sugars and starches, you can request sealants be applied to children's teeth as added protection against tooth decay.
Bad breath is just as common in children as it is in adults. If your child has good oral hygiene habits but still has bad breath, you should schedule an exam with your pediatric dentist. When children have excessively bad breath, it may be an indication of a more serious health problem, such as gum disease, chronic sinusitis, diabetes, or digestive problems. Your dentist will be able to recommend or prescribe mouth rinses and toothpaste to help combat their bad breath and recommend additional medical consultations if necessary.
Unfortunately, gum disease is often the result of poor oral hygiene habits. Gum disease may ultimately result in serious damage to your child's jawbone and lost teeth if it isn't treated appropriately and quickly. If your pediatric dentist determines your child has gum disease, they will first discuss how to treat the gum disease at home, which includes regular brushing and flossing as well as rinsing after eating. In more serious situations, your pediatric dentist may refer your child to a pediatric periodontist.
The best way to reduce the risk of your children experiencing severe dental problems is to encourage regular brushing and flossing and to schedule routine exams and cleanings with their pediatric dentist. It is typically recommended that children begin visiting a dentist for pediatric dental care as soon as their first tooth comes through. The earlier children learn good oral hygiene, the better the chances are of them having strong, healthy teeth and gums in adulthood.