Children and Gum Disease

Healthy gums are important for a healthy mouth and body, so we want you to pay a lot of attention to them! While we all know that children are resilient (and they get two sets of teeth), their teeth (baby and permanent) still need the same care and attention that is required by adult teeth.

Plaque and Gums
It’s important to keep plaque under control, because if left untreated it can make your child’s gums swollen, and they can bleed when touched. This can be the start of gingivitis – otherwise known as gum disease. It is common and can be improved with frequent brushing, flossing and regular cleanings in our office.

Gingivitis in Children
Unfortunately, gingivitis does happen to children – it is characterized by swollen, red gum tissue that bleeds easily. Gingivitis is preventable and treatable with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and professional dental care. However – if left untreated, it can advance to more serious forms of periodontal disease, even in children and teens.

Aggressive Periodontitis
Aggressive periodontitis can affect young people and children who are otherwise healthy. Localized aggressive periodontitis is found mostly in teenagers and young adults – usually found around the first molars and incisors. Generalized aggressive periodontitis may begin at puberty and involves the entire mouth. It’s identified by inflammation of the gum and heavy accumulation of plaque and calculus.

boy holding toothbrush

Signs of gingivitis to watch for:

Bleeding
Bleeding gums during tooth brushing, flossing or any other time.

Puffiness
Swollen, bright-red gums.

Recession
Gums that are receding from the teeth, sometimes exposing the roots (this is actually a sign of more serious periodontal disease).

Bad Breath
Consistent bad breath that does not clear up with brushing and flossing.

Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment of gum problems in children. The most important preventative step against periodontal disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child.

Establish Good Oral Hygiene
For newborns, wipe their gums with a wet cloth. Once teeth start to erupt, parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush to clean children’s teeth for them (make sure they spit, not swallow)! Start flossing when gaps form as teeth grow in.

Be A Good Role Model
Practice good oral hygiene habits yourself!

Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups
Family check-ups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings are all important.

Check Your Child’s Mouth
Keep a close eye out for bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, and bad breath.

Here at ClearCare Dental we want to make sure we are with you every step of the way as your child grows, and look after their teeth! Call us on 540-785-4494 to schedule your child’s dental appointment today!

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