Teaching your kids to create a consistent dental hygiene routine can save you lots of time, tears, and money in the future.
We are all about routines, for kids and adults alike. When it comes to kids, a routine helps them understand the balance between fun and functional. But we want to help emphasize the FUN in FUNctional :).
We believe mouth care can start from Day 1, and when done correctly, it can prevent some of the following dental problems.
9 Common Dental Problems In Kids
Statistics show that over 20% of ADULTS have gone 2-3 days without brushing their teeth, so you can bet that the kid’s percentage of not brushing is even higher!
Preventative and proactive mouth care comes with short-term and long-term benefits. Let’s talk about some common dental issues with kids.
Otherwise known as tooth decay or caries. Let that sink in, when you have a cavity, you literally have a tooth decaying! Cavities are usually caused by a combination of a sugar-filled diet, frequent snacking, and not brushing/flossing well.
Daily brushing and flossing (twice daily) with supervision (until kids have a firm grasp and control of their toothbrush) will be huge. Also, changing up a sugary diet with more healthy options will be beneficial.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
Having a sensitive tooth can make a normally happy child a grump. Some reasons for sensitivity: cavities, newly erupted permanent teeth, acid erosion/enamel wear, teeth grinding (more on that later), cracked or missing filling, or orthodontic treatment.
If your child is complaining about a sensitive tooth or discomfort, it’s probably time to call your dentist for a checkup.
3. Pediatric Gingivitis and Gum Disease
The beginning stage (and mildest form) of gum disease is known as gingivitis and is common in children. Gingivitis is frequently painless and comes in the form of swollen and red gums that may bleed after brushing or flossing.
If left untreated, it could develop into periodontitis, which is more extreme (can lead to loose teeth).
Some signs of gum disease: swollen or red gums, tender gums, gums bleed easily during brushing or flossing, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and changes in the way teeth come together in the biting position.
4. Orthodontic Issues
Orthodontic issues can be things like an overbite, underbite, open bite, and spacing problems. It’s more than just crooked teeth, as misalignments or overcrowding of teeth can lead to jaw problems, cracked teeth, and other oral hygiene issues.
It’s normally recommended to schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment by age 7-8 unless you’re told otherwise by your dentist (at your regularly scheduled appointments).
5. Excessive Thumb Sucking (and Long-term Pacifier Use)
All of the self-soothing tactics come back to bite (no pun intended) us in the end. Excessive thumb sucking and pacifier use can affect the way a child’s teeth develop. Most commonly leading to something called an open bite.
An open bite is a type of malocclusion, which means the teeth aren’t properly aligned when the jaws are closed. That means even when the mouth is closed, there’s a gap between the upper front teeth and lower front teeth. It can lead to difficulties in biting/chewing and even affect speech.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting or stopping pacifier use as early as 6 months due to an increased risk of ear infections. If your little one isn’t ready to let go quite yet (of their pacifier or thumb sucking), you can probably let them continue for a little longer. The most significant negative effects on teeth usually come after two years of age. Of course, speak with your dentist if you have any concerns.
6. Dental Accidents
Almost 50% of children will have some type of injury to a tooth during their childhood. Want to know the craziest part? Many of those injuries are preventable.
The most common causes vary from falls, sports-related injuries, and fights.
One of the ways parents can help reduce the chances of mouth injuries is to have their kids use a mouthguard during recreational and sports activities. Or all the time if you have multiple kids prone to fighting ;), kidding (kind of).
7. Canker Sores
Canker sores, or aphthous ulcers, are little sores that form in the mouth that pack a big punch. They are still kind of a mystery but some factors that can contribute to their growth and development include diet, stress or trauma, infection, nutritional deficiencies, and allergies.
Canker sores can make drinking, eating, and even speaking difficult for anyone suffering from them.
A few ideas to help those with cankers:
- Avoid spicy or acidic foods
- Use SLS-Free (sodium lauryl sulfate) toothpaste (Our Super Smiles Toothpaste is great for kids, and doesn’t have sodium lauryl sulfate in it).
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Avoid Sodas
Our Cool Gums Teething Gel is also great for a little relief on any mouth irritation. For some extra coolness, keep it in the fridge.
8. Grinding Teeth (Bruxism)
Maybe that sports mouthguard can come in handy again :). Bruxism is the medical term for grinding of teeth or clenching of jaws. Lots of kids have it (2-3 out of 10) but most outgrow it. It happens during the deep sleep phases or when kids are under stress. Lots of kiddos aren’t even aware that they do it, it’s often a sibling or parent that happens to hear it or identify it.
Signs of Bruxism to look for: pain with chewing, complaints of a sore jaw or face after waking up in the morning, grinding noises when a child is sleeping.
9. Dental Anxiety
Most kids have stranger danger already, but then add a guy in a white coat and some dental equipment and it’s a nightmare in the making.
When a child is scared of their dentist, it makes cleaning or even checking their teeth very difficult.
Openly talk to your kids about the dentist and cleaning teeth. Keep brushing and flossing with them. And make dentist appointments fun adventures!
Be sure to communicate with your dentist if your child is overcome with anxiety and even consider switching to a pediatric dentist, who specializes in dental care for kids.
Super Smiles Toothpaste For Kids
When mouth care is a part of your daily routine, you are more likely to prevent future issues, as well as catch any issues as soon as they pop up.
Just because little kids will lose their baby teeth, doesn’t mean their oral hygiene should be ignored.
We knew we needed to create a plant-based toothpaste that was safe if swallowed AND was tasty and effective. Let’s be honest, if kids don’t love the taste, they won’t want to brush their teeth.
We had “FUNctional” in mind when we created our Super Smiles Toothpaste. Sweet (and natural) watermelon taste and fluoride-free.
It’s safe for babes ages 2+ (for younger kids, we have Cool Gums Teething Gel that can be used as a training toothpaste).
Help your kiddos take care of their teeth with Super Smiles!