Don’t Miss These 5 Common Problems with Kids Dental (keyword: kids dental) Kids dental should be of the utmost importance as soon as their first teeth begin to breakthrough. Poor or misdirected kids’ dental can lead to serious problems in adulthood which is why children should be taught proper dental hygiene from a young age. Many kids’ dental issues are the same as in adults: teeth develop slowly, and when your children are young, their teeth are much softer and more susceptible to problems than their adult teeth that will eventually come through. As your children grow, taking good care of their teeth and teaching them to care for their teeth can reduce their risk of developing serious oral health problems. At Mermaid Smiles we understand the importance of kids dental and thought we’d share 5 common dental problems in children to help you prevent any serious problems from developing. 1. Tooth Decay Tooth decay is a common oral disease affecting Australian children and can wreak havoc when it comes to kids dental. It is caused by plaque, which is a layer of bacteria that accumulates in the teeth primarily due to the consumption of food and beverages. The bacteria then convert into sugar children consume into acids that wear down the enamel, in turn causing cavities. Tooth decay in baby teeth can cause concern as there is the possibility of permanent damage to your kids dental as there are teeth that are still growing. Smaller children have a greater risk of dental problems as their teeth are softer and thinner than the teeth of a teenager or adult. Recently the National Oral Health Study of Children found that 42% of children aged between 5 and 10 years old have tooth decay at some point in their primary and baby teeth and 27% have at least one tooth with untreated tooth decay. The same study also reported that approximately 24% of children aged 6 to 14 have tooth decay in their permanent teeth and 11% have untreated tooth decay. Tooth decay is completely preventable and can be avoided by practising good oral hygiene and avoiding sugary snacks and drinks where possible. Kids dental should also be checked regularly by a qualified practitioner to increase the chances of early detection of tooth decay. When visiting a dentist, they can advise the best options to improve your kids dental and in the worst-case scenario that your child has a tooth that has a cavity, it can easily be repaired with a filling. 2. Bad Breath Bad breath often gets attributed to the food we eat but can be an indicator of a more serious issue that needs to be rectified. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can affect anyone, regardless of age. This condition is caused by bacteria living in the mouth. These bacteria feed on leftovers, liquids, and plaque, and when they eat, they produce hydrogen sulphide, which leads to bad smells in the mouth. At night when asleep these bacteria multiply in the mouth, leading to cases of poor morning breath. Halitosis is more prevalent amongst adults than in children, so it isn’t something that should be of grave concern. However, if your children’s bad breath persists throughout the day, this may indicate a bigger problem. Practising good dental hygiene is the best way to treat bad breath and prevent it. Antibacterial mouthwashes may help improve the smell and brushing the tongues can also help fight bacteria in the mouth. 3. Gingivitis Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease which occurs due to plaque that is irritating the gums. Early signs that you may be facing a minor case of gingivitis are swelling of the gums, redness, bleeding of the gums and bad breath. In Australia, people of all ages are commonly affected by this condition, with around 20% being children aged below 14. If your child has gingivitis, it is an easy condition to help by simply improving their oral hygiene. When you visit Mermaid Smiles, our dentists will check your child’s mouth and remove plaque that has hardened on their teeth. If the gum disease is advanced, your dentist can discuss its treatment and removal. 4. Sensitive Teeth Sensitive teeth are another common problem when it comes to kids dental. Many people assume adults are the only ones impacted by sensitive teeth, but children can develop them. Sensitive teeth are not necessarily a bad sign, but there is the possibility that they indicate more serious dental problems. As children’s enamel is thinner than that of adults, plaque and acid can wear it down easier. When the enamel wears off, the children’s gums begin to retract and small cracks may form on the surface of the teeth, exposing nerve endings. When drinking or eating hot or cold, these nerve endings can be triggered, causing sensitivity or even pain. A sensitive tooth is often an indication of tooth decay or a cavity. To combat sensitive teeth, dentists can apply sealants to the tooth to strengthen the enamel or fill cracks. 5. Thumb Sucking Tub sucking is a common habit amongst smaller children but is one that may wreak havoc on your kids dental. As a child, thumb sucking often begins in the womb and is a comforting and instinctive habit that isn’t a cause for concern and in most cases disappear when the child is about two or three years old. However, if your child is still sucking on the thumb when the permanent teeth come in, it can cause a host of other problems. Thumb sucking interferes with normal oral development and can affect tooth alignment and the roof of the mouth as well as causing speech problems in some children. Preventing Dental Problems in Children Tooth decay in children can be prevented by introducing healthy eating and good cleaning habits. By teaching good eating habits like avoided food and beverages with excessive sugar in them as well as daily teeth brushing and flossing, a lot of major dental issues are able be avoided. If you are concerned about your kids’ dental habits or think that they may be facing one of the above issues, there is no need to worry, we can help. At Mermaid Smiles we can complete a full examination of your child’s teeth to help identify the issue and then rectify the issue, if any, as quickly as possible. Whether or not your child is complaining about a dental issue, it’s important to have a regular check-up every 6 months to ensure any issues are detected early. Contact our friendly staff to book an appointment today.