What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “common childhood dental problems?”
Cavities probably top the list – and for a good reason. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of children ages 5 to 11 years old have at least one cavity.
Common Childhood Dental Problems – Occurrence, Prevention, and More
Aside from chronic conditions and disease, childhood dental problems are preventable. It all starts with a disciplined, common-sense care regimen at home, along with regular dentist visits.
Here are the most common dental issues affecting children, along with some tips from a pediatric dentist to promote healthy teeth and gums:
- Cavities. We’ve already mentioned the dreaded c-word, but it’s worth repeating. Cavities are a telltale sign of tooth decay and other serious problems. To prevent cavities, ensure your child brushes and flosses at least twice per day. Also, keep an eye on their sugar intake.
- Gum disease. Also known as gingivitis, gum disease occurs when the gum tissue becomes inflamed, red, and sore. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. To prevent this common dental issue, make sure your child brushes and flosses regularly.
- Thumb sucking. While most children stop this habit by age 4, continued thumb sucking can lead to misaligned teeth and other issues. Consult with your dentist to discuss strategies on how to wean your child from thumb sucking.
- Baby teeth. The incisors (front teeth) are usually gone by age 6, while the molars (back teeth) are replaced by age 12 to 13. Sometimes, these teeth are stubborn and won’t fall out. If that’s the case, schedule an appointment with your dentist for further assistance.
- Bad breath. It’s hard to avoid this problem. Bad breath happens when bacteria builds up in the mouth and creates a foul odor. To prevent bad breath, your child should brush and rinse regularly – and not just the teeth, either. The tongue also deserves some TLC, since it can accommodate large amounts of bacteria.