When you think about your child’s oral hygiene and dental health, you likely consider how you can help them avoid cavities and bad breath. What about keeping their gums healthy and strong? Healthy gums provide a solid anchor for their teeth.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection in the gums (the tissues that support the teeth). When oral bacteria isn’t removed with regular brushing and flossing, it builds up into a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed. Inflamed gums pull back from teeth to form pockets that trap bacteria, which can result in infection, pain, and eventual tooth loss.
Can Kids Get Gum Disease?
Children can develop gum disease if they have a poor diet and/or a poor oral hygiene routine at home. A sugary diet feeds the harmful bacteria in plaque. Without sufficient brushing and flossing, this plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar.
If gum disease is detected and addressed early, it may be reversible. So if you notice that your child’s gums are swollen, red, tender, or bleeding easily, let us know. Our team can deep clean their smile, help them improve their brushing and flossing technique, and provide ideas for tooth-healthy snacks.
How Can Kids Avoid Gum Disease?
Like adults, children can avoid gum disease by taking a few preventive measures. First, a consistent at-home oral hygiene routine is a necessity. Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice daily for a full two minutes each time. They should also floss once each day. We also invite them to visit Storybook Smiles every six months for a cleaning and checkup. These measures can prevent plaque from building up on teeth and along the gumline.
Additionally, children can reduce their risk for gum disease by consuming a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. Encourage your child to eat a variety of whole foods, while limiting sugary drinks and processed snacks. Keep in mind that sugary foods and drinks that don’t provide essential vitamins and nutrients for your child’s body are fuel for their oral bacteria to damage their teeth and irritate their gums.
If you have any additional questions about gum disease or if you’re ready to schedule your child’s next appointment, please contact Storybook Smiles today! We offer comprehensive pediatric dentistry and a variety of relaxing amenities.
Gum disease image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0