Studies found that children lose more than 51 million school hours because of oral health issues. Although tooth decay is considered to be the most common oral problem in children, a variety of other dental problems can occur too.
In this blog, Dr. Justin Le, DDS, at El Paseo Dental Care in San Jose and Hayward, California, discusses some of the most common pediatric dentistry problems and ways to prevent them.
The most commonly observed dental problems in children are:
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20% of children between 5 and 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Due to irregular brushing or a sugar-heavy diet, sticky plaque accumulates on the surface of the teeth. This plaque wears down the enamel and may lead to tooth loss.
Cavities can easily be prevented by following a regular oral hygiene routine. If a cavity does develop, your pediatric dentist will advise a tooth filling.
Also known as halitosis, bad breath is caused when the bacteria in the mouth feed on the leftover food and sugars. This causes the release of sulfur compounds that give your child bad breath, usually in the morning. Poor oral hygiene, a dry mouth, and gingivitis are the most common causes of bad breath.
Assisting your child in following a proper oral hygiene routine prevents bad breath. Add an antibacterial mouthwash to their routine and brush their tongue every day.
Gum disease is a serious pediatric dental problem. The earliest stage is gingivitis and it is caused by plaque buildup on the gum line. Untreated gingivitis leads to periodontitis or tartar buildup below the gum line and may even cause tooth loss.
Gum disease is preventable with daily brushing and flossing. In case the gingivitis has advanced, the dentist may recommend a deep cleaning, antibiotics, or special rinses.
According to studies, at 3 years of age, almost 70% of children experience malocclusion or a ‘bad bite’. This condition is common in children who are used to thumb-sucking or a pacifier beyond the age of 5. Aggressive thumb-sucking can also cause speech problems.
To prevent bite problems, wean your child from thumb-sucking or consult your dentist for expert advice on how to break this habit.
To learn more about common dental problems in children, call (408) 370-0101 or (510) 750-1654 to schedule an appointment at El Paseo Dental Care or visit our offices in San Jose and Hayward, California.