Kid’s dentistry can be a complex topic. There is a lot that goes into promoting good oral health for your kids. Beyond just brushing and flossing; diet and food choice has a large impact on dental health. And beyond general dental health, there can be issues with baby teeth and adult teeth coming in, and orthodontic problems as well. That is why it is vital that parents understand the most common dental problems that their kids may face. Here are five of the most common dental problems seen with children.
Tooth decay is actually the most common health problem in children. More than asthma, diabetes, or other ailments, tooth decay is the most prevalent. Children’s teeth are more sensitive than adult teeth, and without proper brushing and flossing, tooth decay can rot away teeth. It has been estimated that almost half of all children between the ages of two and five years old have at least one cavity. Fluoride toothpaste and a diet focusing on calcium can go a long way in protecting your kid’s teeth. But by far the most important thing you can do is to schedule bi-yearly dental exams. Only a dental professional can detect cavities and see signs of tooth decay.
Generally speaking, gum diseases like gingivitis are more common in young adults than younger children. However, gum disease can affect anyone. If you notice that your son or daughter’s gumline is often red, swollen, or bleeding, this is a sign of early-onset gum disease. Visit a dentist to make sure that this is addressed as early as possible.
As your child loses teeth and has adult teeth come in there can be many complications. Tooth misalignment can be inherited genetically or can be caused by excessive thumb or pacifier sucking. Misaligned teeth can cause pain, headaches, and jaw problems based on how your child bites. Orthodontic treatment or tooth extraction may be necessary to solve misalignment problems.
Loss of enamel can cause tooth sensitivity. Children often damage the enamel on their teeth due to diet. Sodas and sugary food and wear down the enamel, which will, in turn, make teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures as well as more likely to decay. There are dental products that help preserve dental enamel, however, enamel cannot be replaced. That is why preventative oral health is vital to keeping your child’s teeth healthy.
For kids that play baseball, soccer, basketball, and other sports, it is not uncommon to run into some dental issues due to injury. Chipped, broken, loosened, and knocked out teeth can occur to do accidents. Generally loosened and knocked out teeth are not a large concern if they are baby teeth (or primary teeth) as adult teeth will come in. But chipped or otherwise damaged teeth require emergency dental work.