Quality oral health care and hygiene habits should start early on because similar to adults, children can also develop a number of dental problems. It’s actually more likely for children to develop dental issues because of bad habits like sucking their thumbs and consuming sugary snacks and beverages. 

Parents should have an understanding of common oral health issues experienced by children because this information will allow them to take the necessary precautions to prevent these problems. Knowing this information will also help parents detect warning signs. 

It is very important to remain diligent about kids’ dental wellness because this is the only way to set them up for a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth. 

The Most Common Dental Problems in Children

1. Tooth decay and cavities. 

This is a very common dental problem in both children and adults and is especially common in kids because the enamel on baby teeth is only half the thickness of the enamel on permanent teeth which means they are more vulnerable to tooth decay which will then develop into a cavity. 

A very high percentage of children aged 6 to 8 will have at least one cavity in their milk teeth, and if this is left untreated, children may experience pain and infections and can even develop problems with their speaking and eating abilities. 

2. Misaligned teeth. 

Sucking on their thumbs can cause children to develop misaligned teeth. Dentists will say that thumb sucking is not a problem until the child’s permanent teeth come in, but if this habit continues, it can push their teeth out of alignment and cause an overbite. Additionally, this habit can also cause their upper and lower jaws to become misaligned. 

Other habits can also lead to misaligned teeth, including a tongue thrust which is when a person pushes the top of their tongue forward before they swallow. Lip sucking is another problem, and many children will repeatedly hold their lower lip beneath their teeth. 

3. Early tooth loss. 

Baby teeth can sometimes be lost prematurely, and this can occur as a result of tooth decay, an injury or overcrowding. Many parents assume it doesn’t matter because baby teeth will be lost anyway, but that’s not necessarily true because a baby tooth that is lost before the permanent tooth erupts can cause the nearby teeth to shift or tilt. 

This can then cause problems when permanent teeth erupt because they will not have enough room to emerge properly and this may cause issues with chewing or it may negatively affect your child’s jaw development. 

4. Gum disease.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can harden into tartar. If a child does not brush and floss properly, plaque will develop on their teeth, and once it hardens into tartar, it can cause your child’s gums to swell and bleed when touched. This is a symptom of gum disease, and early treatment of this problem is a must otherwise, the disease will become worse if left untreated. If tartar is not addressed and removed professionally by a dentist, the underlying bone that supports your child’s teeth may decay, and their tooth may become loose. 

Preventive Care to Consider for Your Children’s Dental Health

As parents, we want the best for our kids, including a healthy smile. Preventive measures such as regular dental visits and proper home care routines can significantly reduce the risk of cavities and other oral health problems. 

The dentists at Collingwood Family Dental recommend starting preventive dental care for your child before their first birthday. This includes scheduling a “Happy Visit” where children can get comfortable with the dental office environment. During a Happy Visit, the dentists will introduce kids to the dental tools and equipment in a fun, positive way using descriptive names like “Mr. Slurpee” or “Mr. Whistle.” Getting children acclimated to the dental experience early helps prevent fear and anxiety associated with future visits. After the initial Happy Visit, kids should have their first dental exam and cleaning between 6 months and a year after their first tooth erupts. Regular six-month checkups are important to monitor for cavities and catch any issues early. 

Other preventive services to consider include dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Sealants are applied to chewing surfaces of permanent back teeth to prevent cavities. Topical fluoride is used as rinse to strengthen enamel and reduce cavity risk. For older children, mouthguards can protect developing adult teeth from injuries during sports. Our dentists are happy to discuss which additional preventive options make sense based on each child’s individual risk factors and oral health history.

Taking your children to their regular cleanings and exams at Collingwood Family Dental plays a key role in maintaining good oral health. It allows our dentists to monitor for any problems, catch issues in early treatable stages, and educate on proper home care techniques. Combining professional dental visits with solid brushing and flossing routines sets the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Ensure a Bright Smile for Years to Come – Get Your Kids in to See Our Dentist at Collingwood Family Dental

Collingwood Family Dental offers children’s dentistry for kids of all ages. We will ensure your child’s teeth and gums are cared for from an early age so proper treatments and measures can be taken. If we detect any concerning signs, we will discuss them right away and provide your child with treatment. We have years of experience and are highly skilled, and our goal is to ensure every child who enters our dental office feels comfortable. 

We recommend scheduling dental appointments twice a year. If you’d like to introduce your child to a friendly dentist in Collingwood, contact our office today!