Nothing makes you melt quite like your child’s smile. But as soon as kids start getting teeth, they start to become susceptible to gum disease, which can attack your child’s signature pearly whites. While some types of periodontal disease are more common in adults, children aren’t immune to the damaging effects of gum disease. Regular dental checkups can help, but it’s up to you as a parent to understand exactly what is gum disease and teach your child hygiene habits that prevent issues such as gingivitis from affecting your child’s toothy grin.
Types of Gum Disease
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, children are susceptible to a few kinds of gum disease of which you should be aware:
Gum Disease Symptoms
Okay, so you’re not a dentist, but you should still be able to spot signs of gingivitis pretty easily. One of the most common symptoms is bleeding gums during brushing, along with swelling, redness and sensitivity. If your child tells you that brushing hurts or fights the idea of brushing altogether, it should be a red flag that sore gums and gingivitis are to blame.
Treatment for Gum Disease
If you notice that your little one has sore, red or bleeding gums, it might be time for a checkup. Not only can spending time at the dentist’s office help clean away plaque that is causing gum disease, but an appointment can also spark a conversation about exactly what is gum disease and how your child’s poor habits could be exacerbating the problem. While your child might not listen to you, there’s a good chance that hearing it straight from the dentist could help your child better understand the dangers of gum disease.
The good news? Gum disease is pretty easy both to avoid and fix, if necessary. Simply follow good daily oral hygiene practices. Trying a kid-friendly toothpaste and mouthwash in combination with regular flossing is a great place to start since gum disease is caused by bacteria left in the mouth. Have your children adhere to an oral care routine twice a day, using fun toothbrushes and great-tasting toothpaste to entice your child to participate.
While gum disease can do serious damage to your child’s smile, most forms of early gum disease are mild and easily treatable with better hygiene habits. Teaching your child to care for teeth now means that signature smile will brighten your day for years to come.