Kids are like mini-tornadoes, full of energy, and sometimes mild destruction anywhere they land. In the midst of all these are their teeth. Healthy Children mentions that, on average, baby teeth come in around six to twelve months. A kid usually holds onto those baby teeth for a few years, and then they’re replaced. They’re not permanent, but they can suffer from significant problems. Kids are very vocal about when their body isn’t working properly. Teeth are one of those things that a kid will make sure you know isn’t feeling quite right. In keeping with the American Dental Association (ADA) declaring this month as National Children’s Dental Health Month, we decided that the best way to celebrate it would be to cover the most common woes that a dentist in Royal Palm Beach sees with kids and their teeth
1. Tooth Decay & Cavities
The number one ailment that kids suffer from because of their regular daily activities is tooth decay. The CDC mentions that at least 20% of kids between the ages of five and eleven have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Tooth decay, as we know, comes from bacteria that live on teeth. When particles of food become stuck on the teeth, these bacteria produce acid, which eats away at the covering of the tooth. Kids tend to consume a lot of sugar-rich foods because of their penchant for sweet snacks and drinks. Bacteria on teeth are especially fond of sweet things, and the more of these a kid consumes, the more likely it is to lead to tooth decay. Luckily, proper dental health can prevent tooth decay. Teaching kids to brush and floss after every meal is a good start. By training them to do this from young, you set a precedent in place for them as they get older.
2. Baby Teeth Loss
A kid’s baby teeth usually come in fully by age three. The British National Health Service informs us that around age five to six, a child’s baby teeth start dropping out to be replaced by adult teeth. A lot of kids consider this an exciting time since it’s a tangible “rite of passage” into becoming more grown-up. Even though baby teeth loss starts at around the age of six, all those teeth aren’t lost until the child turns twelve. In extreme cases, some baby teeth remain until the kid turns fourteen. Most times, kids lose baby teeth and don’t even feel it. In some cases, however, there may be pain and discomfort, and your child may need to visit a professional dentist in Royal Palm Beach. On the other hand, if a tooth becomes loose before it should fall out, you should also consider visiting your family dentist.
3. Canker Sores
Canker sores are also known as aphthous ulcers. They are blisters that form within the mouth, on the tongue, or the gums of the child. The appearance of these sores is usually a gray central region surrounded by a red or inflamed outer ring of tissue. They occur throughout childhood and can make eating or drinking difficult for the child. About Kids Health notes that they aren’t contagious, but several factors may affect their formation. While dentists aren’t sure how canker sores spontaneously arise, some of them may be due to minor accidents while brushing teeth. Reducing the pain of canker sores is easy. Avoid feeding your kid abrasive or spicy foods and instead replace them with warm, mild foods and drinks. To reduce how long the wounds stick around, you should consider topical products or antimicrobial mouthwash.
4. Gum Disease or Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a scary thing for a kid. The Mayo Clinic defines gingivitis as a condition that is manifested through redness, irritation, and inflammation of the gum tissue. Usually, it comes about through poor dental hygiene. If it’s left unmanaged, it could lead to bone damage and permanent loss of teeth. Within a kid, gum disease may show up in one of three different forms:
- Aggressive periodontitis: Typically found in teenagers, this severe form of gum disease is characterized by the teen losing their alveolar bone.
- Chronic gingivitis: Normally found in younger kids, it is characterized by puffy and sensitive swollen gums that bleed very easily.
- Generalized aggressive periodontitis: A more severe form of aggressive periodontitis. It affects the entire mouth and may lead to complete loss of teeth and inflamed gums.
Keeping up with a regimen of proper brushing and flossing alongside scheduled dental visits should be enough to prevent gingivitis from taking hold. Every once in a while, you should schedule a deep cleaning for your child. If an infection has already occurred, your dentist in Royal Palm Beach might suggest antibiotics or other types of medication to deal with it.
5. Teeth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth become easier to spot as a kid gets older. Normally, teeth respond to massive changes in temperature. It’s one of the reasons we get ice cream headaches, for example. However, if mildly hot or cold food or drink draws a response from your child, they may have sensitive teeth. Having sensitive teeth on its own might not be that much of an issue. However, the existence of sensitive teeth may suggest a more sinister problem lurking. Healthline mentions that dental issues such as teeth grinding or receding gums, even the presence of cavities, may have sensitive teeth as a side effect. Dealing with sensitive teeth isn’t that big a deal. A dentist might simply provide a sealant to the teeth or offer the kid a soft-bristled brush for use while at home. The sealant ensures that all the tiny cracks within a tooth seal adequately and prevents any further issues with the tooth’s nerve feeling irritation by food or drink.
6. Halitosis or Bad Breath
Halitosis can affect people of any age, regardless of if they’re young or old. In kids, however, halitosis might be a sign of something worse than just eating lousy food. Bad breath ultimately comes from the bacteria that live within a kid’s mouth. During the day, these bacteria feed on particles of food and, as mentioned above, may lead to tooth decay. During the night, they multiply within your kid’s mouth, and in the morning, their morning breath comes from these bacteria. As Raising Children notes, bad breath might be a sign of sinusitis, poor dental hygiene, or even reflux. Antibacterial mouthwash might be a good stopgap measure, but there’s nothing that’s quite as effective at taking care of bad breath like instituting proper dental hygiene.
Good Tooth Care Starts from Childhood
Caring for teeth can be an involved process. It gets much more comfortable when it’s part of a routine. Childhood is the best time to encourage someone to put proper dental care practices in place to follow them throughout their lives. At Anderson Dental, we believe that this month, as National Children’s Dental Health Month, should be used to help your kids develop better dental practices that will keep their teeth healthy throughout their lives. Your child deserves the best dentist in Royal Palm Beach. Give us a call today to book an appointment!