Kids can suffer from gum diseases too and it can quickly spiral into more complicated problems if left untreated.
Some people may think that only adults have to deal with gingivitis, but that’s simply not true. Kids can suffer from gum diseases too and it can quickly spiral into more complicated problems if left untreated. If you noticed that your child’s gums are a bit swollen or if he is spitting blood after brushing his teeth, then it’s time to act and schedule an appointment with your St. Louis pediatric dentist.
Here’s what you should know.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the tissue that supports the teeth. It is caused by plaque buildup that hasn’t been removed effectively through brushing and flossing. Over time, the plaque hardens and turns into tartar that affects the gums, causing them to bleed and pull away from the teeth. Left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, a condition that causes the teeth to become loose and fall out.
How to Treat It and What Can You Do to Prevent It
If you suspect that your kid has gum disease, then the first thing you should do is have him checked by your St. Louis pediatric dentist. The dentist will decide the best way to remove the tartar based on the child’s age and the severity of the problem. They may also make recommendations regarding the kid’s diet and dental habits.
Diet Can Affect Gums’ Health
You already know that sugar is bad for the teeth, but did you know that it can affect gums health too? According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you should offer your kid nutritious and filling snacks, such as veggies, yogurt, cheese or peanut butter. Keep starchy foods like bread or potato chips for mealtime as bacteria love to feed on the starch.
Don’t Skip Brushing
Make sure that your kid brushes two times per day, after breakfast and before bedtime. If your child is younger than five years old, then you should be the one brushing their teeth as they don’t have the necessary skills yet to clean them properly. Kids aged five and older can brush by themselves, but with adult supervision.
Brushing isn’t enough to reach the plaque that builds up between the teeth and against the surface of the gums. That’s why in addition to brushing you should also floss your child’s teeth once a day.
Use a string about 18 inches long and wind the ends around your middle finger. Insert it between the teeth so that to create a C-shaped and move it up and down gently.
Flossing a toddler can feel intimidating so try turning this into a fun activity. Tell them that you are trying to catch the plaque monster and that the floss is a special weapon that will annihilate it.
Be a Role Model
Taking care of your kids’ teeth and gums can feel like a daunting task. Remember that kids love to imitate adults, so try becoming a role model. Brush your teeth and floss with them and always remind them of the importance of good oral health.