Children with untreated dental disease may have problems developing, and later in life this can lead to issues with self-esteem and confidence due to their poor dento-facial aesthetics.
Firstly, they could experience sensitivity and pain as the quality of their teeth decreases significantly without intervention to reverse the issues. This can lead not only to more serious diseases and costly treatments, but also to feeling less confident about their appearance, because of discoloured, missing or crooked teeth.
Many parents turn to teeth whitening in order to make their children satisfied with how they look. But the innocent teasing of young children can lead to them forming insecurities, which are likely to haunt them in the future, especially during adolescence.
1. Children’s tooth decay is a global problem
Research has shown that half the children around the world aged 5-6 have some level of tooth decay and that many instances are left untreated.
According to studies done in Australia, nearly fifty percent of children had a history of dental decay in the deciduous teeth. Moreover, in Canada, 57% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 had dental decay and a missing or filled tooth.
These statistics are disturbing, and tell us that poor oral health is a growing, global issue. It’s critical to educate your children about the importance of oral hygiene and the consequences of dental disease. In some areas, oral health information is now being taught in schools.
For example, the Welsh government created a program called “Designed to Smile”, which includes experts visiting schools and teaching children how to brush their teeth and why it is important.
At a very early age, children should be instructed on how to brush their teeth properly in order to prevent tooth decay, infections and inflammation of the gums. So, if you don’t know the proper method yourself, make it a point to learn it together.
The fact that children around the world have caries even in their primary teeth shows that they aren’t educated enough, and that parents don’t pay enough attention to the oral hygiene of their children. Dental caries can lead to other, more severe problems which can negatively affect the development of your child. You can prevent caries and cavities not only by properly brushing their teeth, but also by regulating their intake of sugary drinks and snacks.
When sugars from foods and drinks get in contact with bacteria, which is always present in the mouth, acid is produced. This acid reacts to the enamel surface and creates dental caries and cavities by causing the loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel. Because of that, you should pay attention to what your child is eating and drinking. Also, make sure they clean their teeth after every meal.
2. Studies have shown that tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness
Poor dental health can be genetic; however, the primary cause is more often than not poor oral hygiene. Chronic dental issues like tooth decay can have a negative impact on a child’s overall health and development, and it can even affect their cognitive functions if infections are left unchecked.
When tooth decay isn’t treated immediately, it can cause various problems such as:
gum disease, inflammation and gingivitis
damage to permanent teeth, which must be repaired and filled
pain and discomfort (toothache)
infections, abscesses and the loss of teeth
All these problems can lead to some more serious issues, such as a negative effect on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Moreover, having caries in their primary teeth causes a lot of pain and makes it more difficult to chew and eat properly. When developing physically, if the child is improperly chewing, then their jaw might not develop normally, which will be visible not only on their physique, but also apparent in possible speech disorders – because of a deformed jaw, your child wouldn’t be able to produce some sounds well.
Furthermore, children who only see the dentist when they have a problem, such as a cavity that needs to be filled, will relate pain and discomfort to their dentist and because of that, create an irrational fear of dentists, which will certainly lead to missing regular checkups.
3. Maintaining your child’s oral health is easy when you use the right products
Your family should use fluoride toothpaste, because fluoride’s main purpose in regard to oral health is the ability to prevent tooth decay. This mineral replaces the lost minerals, by which it reduces the chances of forming the acids which cause the dental caries.
In order to supply yourself with the right amount of fluoride you can drink fluoridated water, however, if you are drinking bottled water, you should speak with your dentist about using a fluoride gel, tablets or using fluoride mouth rinse. If you are cleaning your young toddler’s teeth, it is recommended to use an amount of fluoride toothpaste roughly equal to the size of one grain of rice.
4. If you don’t manage to prevent dental disease, professional medical or dental intervention will be inevitable
Poor oral hygiene can lead to all kinds of diseases, some of which end up requiring the help of a medical or dental professional. And sometimes dental diseases may occur even if you took great care of your children’s oral health. This is very rare, but not impossible, because some problems may be caused by accidents, injuries or other unforeseeable events.
Therefore, it would be wise to invest in your child’s dental insurance to ensure that you will be prepared in the event that a treatment or operation is required. Postponing taking care of tooth decay or delaying dental surgery is not recommended, because once the process of decay starts, it can only get worse if left unchecked. Your children rely on you to keep them healthy, and it never hurts to be prepared.
The best way to keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy is to turn to general dentistry, because a general dentist, just like a general practitioner or family doctor, can treat your whole family and care for your overall oral health.
By treating your family, a dentist can keep track of your records together, and according to your history of illnesses may have insight into any problems you find developing. It’s useful to create long-term relationships with your medical professionals so that they are able to understand you better and watch you grow and develop. Professionals aside, dental care at home is just as – if not more – important.
Oral health at home is all about maintenance and prevention, so be sure to inform your child of the dangers of unchecked tooth decay and coach them in proper brushing techniques. They’ll thank you for it, eventually.
Bring your child down for a routine dental check-up with us today!