As a parent, you want nothing more than the best for your child, including good oral health. So, you would never do anything to jeopardize the health of their mouth, teeth, and gums. However, there is a difference between knowingly and unknowingly, and the reality is that some parents are putting their children at risk for conditions like periodontal disease innocently. Learn about periodontal disease in children to ensure you aren't making this mistake.
Not Knowing the Signs
Ensure you know the signs of this medical condition. If you don't know what it looks like, it will become increasingly harder for you to protect your child's health. One of the first signs of periodontal, or gum, disease is bleeding around the gum line when brushing or flossing.
As the condition advances, you will notice swelling around the gum line, unmanageable breath odors, and gum recession. If you notice any red flags, take the child to the dentist right away.
Brushing but Not Flossing
Many parents encourage their children to brush their teeth, but not every parent teaches their child about flossing. It's critical you understand that brushing alone is not enough to avoid this disease.
Periodontal disease comes from a bacteria strain that forms and is highly reactive to the food particles left between the teeth. When you don't floss, you most definitely leave food between your teeth. Flossing alone can work wonders in the prevention of this disease.
Missing Dental Checkups During the Teen Years
It's essential you take your child for regular dental visits at any age, but it's very important to maintain an appropriate level of care when your child reaches puberty. Puberty causes a huge hormonal shift in the body, and some of the changes are even evident in a child's mouth.
Particularly for girls, their hormonal changes can alter the level of blood supply that is transported to the gum tissue and the body's ability to respond to toxins, including those created from plaque buildup. Combined, these changes elevate the risk of this disease even if the child has otherwise good oral hygiene efforts. Ensure you regularly take your child to the dentist during this period so that any concerns can be highlighted quickly.
For concerns about periodontal disease in your child, their dental provider is your best source for information, so speak up and ask as many questions as you need to feel confident. Contact a dentist, like Tony Parsley, DMD, if you need more help.