Dental problems can affect anyone at any age, from 1 to 100. While many of these problems are similar between kids and adults, there are some common oral health concerns that parents and your children’s dentist in Smyrna should look out for, and some may surprise you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of kids between the ages of 6 and 8 have had a cavity in their baby teeth, and nearly 60% of adolescents between 12 and 19 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. All cavities need to be treated sooner rather than later, whether the decay occurs in a baby tooth or an adult tooth. Without treatment, decay can cause pain and lead to serious infections.
2. Bad Breath
Occasional bad breath is normal. However, constant bad breath may be cause for concern and should be mentioned to your kid’s dentist in Smyrna. Bad breath, also called halitosis, is typically a sign that there are too many bacteria in the mouth. This can happen as a result of not brushing your teeth well enough or often enough, not flossing, or dry mouth. Certain digestive problems and even some medications can also cause bad breath.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease is usually thought of as an adult problem, but kids can also develop it. Gum disease occurs when there is an infection in the gum tissue, and it’s usually caused by poor dental hygiene. As a result, gums tend to become painful, red, and swollen, and they may bleed. While anyone can get gum disease, kids that have crooked or overlapping teeth may have more trouble thoroughly brushing and flossing and could be a greater risk.
4. Children’s Dental Emergencies
Accidents happen, and sometimes they result in a dental emergency. Anything from playing sports to riding a bike or jumping on a trampoline can cause unexpected tooth troubles such as chipping a tooth or even knocking a tooth out. If a tooth is completely knocked out, submerge the tooth in a glass of milk or a cup of your child’s spit. In any case of a dental emergency, try your best to remain calm and call your kid’s dentist in Smyrna as soon as you can.
5. Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking or using a pacifier are both very common ways babies soothe themselves. However, if thumb sucking continues as your little one gets older, it can start to affect tooth and speech development, your child’s bite (how the top teeth and bottom teeth come together), and can even make it hard for your child to chew food properly. Most kids will stop sucking their thumb on their own, usually by age 3, but others may need some help. Your children’s dentist is a great resource.
The best ways to take care of kids’ teeth and help them avoid these common dental problems are to make sure they brush their teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and see their dentist in Smyrna at least twice a year for checkups.