When your children start getting their first teeth, it’s important to encourage regular brushing and flossing.
These habits started at a young age will go a long way in the prevention of multiple kinds of dental problems. But even with great oral hygiene, your school aged child can still develop some problem with his or her teeth or mouth.
Below we are going to give you three common problems to be on the lookout for.
There are several different reasons why your child may have a toothache. These can include eruption of a new tooth, decay, infection, trauma to the tooth, grinding of the teeth, and many more.
If your child is complaining of a toothache for any reason, call your dentist. It’s better to be safe than sorry as only a dentist can thoroughly diagnose the cause. If you cannot get your child to the dentist right away try a few things to help in the meantime.
- If your child has no allergies or problems taking over the counter pain relievers try medicine that contains either ibuprophen or acetaminophen.
- If the mouth or teeth have been injured and the injury doesn’t warrant a trip to the emergency room, try placing a cold compress on the injured area to help reduce any swelling or pain.
- If your child has pain from a cavity or if there is a facial swelling it’s very important that you DO NOT put heat on the area; this can make the situation worse. Call your dentist right away because your child may need an antibiotic to prevent spreading of the infection.
Tooth decay is preventable disease; however it still remains as the highest chronic childhood disease and is more prevalent than asthma. Decay is also known as dental cavities or dental caries and begins when the bacteria in the mouth form plaque on the teeth. The food that your child eats essentially feeds the bacteria in their mouths and spits out acid on the teeth. If plaque is left on the teeth the acids released from the bacteria can cause decay.
All children are at risk for forming decay. However, you can help prevent it by following some of the steps below.
- Limit sweets and juices. Foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates and/or starches are more likely to cause decay. It’s best to leave these items as special treats and not part of their daily nutrition.
- Encourage good hygiene habits at a young age. As soon as those pearly whites come in you need to start brushing them. Brush them at least twice per day and floss the teeth as soon as they touch each other. Pay extra attention to the gum line to make sure your brushing off any plaque or food that may be retained.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups with your child’s pediatric dentist. They will help give you and your child tips and pointers on how to continue to keep their mouth happy and healthy!
Canker sores, also known as apthous ulcers, can be a common source of mouth pain in children. These small ulcers are most frequently found at the base of the gums. They are typically white, gray, or yellow in color and can be quite painful depending on where it’s located in the mouth. They typical heal without issue in 7-10 days. These spots are not contagious and harmless, however it is always best to have a quick check by your child’s pediatric dentist to make sure it is not something more serious.
There is no cure for canker sores but there are some things you can do to help ease the discomfort.
- Don’t eat spicy, acidic foods as these can irritate the canker sore.
- There are some topical over the counter ointments that you can place over top of the sore that help numb that pain. Call your child’s pediatric dentist for a recommendation as there are several brands available.
- Give your child an over the counter pain reliever if advised.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth or mouth always call their dentist. They have the knowledge and equipment in order to help child get out of pain.