Tooth decay is the most common oral health issue in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and young children are especially vulnerable due to factors like diet and they’re still learning how to properly brush and floss their teeth.
The good news is that many oral health issues are preventable, so knowing what to look for and the steps you can take to protect your children’s oral health can reduce the risk of dental problems in the future. At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care and Orthodontics, our dentists and orthodontists offer a range of pediatric dentistry services at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
Common oral health issues in children
In addition to tooth decay and cavities, other common oral health problems in children include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Malocclusions (bite and alignment issues)
- Thumb sucking
- Dental anxiety
- Lip sucking
- Tongue thrusting
- Premature tooth loss
- Dental emergency/dental trauma
- Gingivitis and gum disease
Parents are often shocked to find out that their children can suffer from an “adult” problem like gum disease, but gingivitis and gum disease can (and do) strike patients of all ages, even children. The factors that put adults at risk for gum disease, like poor oral hygiene and diet, are also a problem for children (sometimes even more so).
What you can do to prevent common pediatric dental problems
The best way to protect your children’s oral health and lower their risk of oral health issues is by making sure they’re brushing and flossing adequately, trying to limit how much sugar they’re eating (and drinking, especially for infants and toddlers), and scheduling regular appointments for dental checkups and cleanings.
Regular dental checkups are especially important for children to monitor their development and catch any oral health problems as early as possible. In addition to orthodontics, there are a number of preventive pediatric dental treatments available to help keep your children’s teeth healthy, such as dental sealants and silver diamine fluoride.
A child’s oral health journey begins as soon as their first tooth erupts. Baby teeth should be cared for as vigorously as permanent teeth, since oral health issues that begin in baby teeth don’t just disappear when the teeth fall out. In fact, healthy baby teeth are essential to ensure that the permanent teeth grow in as healthy as possible.
The best way to monitor and protect your child’s oral health and dental development is to schedule regular checkups and cleanings so our pediatric dentists can monitor their progress on a regular basis. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call us at 703-498-2440 today, or contact us online.