5 Most Common Oral Diseases In Children (Plus How To Prevent Them)

Oral Diseases in Children

A little bit of knowledge will help you become more aware of your kids’ oral health, including dental emergencies like a dental injury.

What probable oral diseases can your child encounter? What exactly can you do to prevent oral diseases in children? Consult with Children's Dentist in Dubai.

Most common oral diseases in children

Children's oral health plays a crucial role in speech development, enabling them to articulate words and sounds accurately. Nevertheless, early damage to a child's teeth resulting from common oral problems or oral diseases in children can not only impact their ability to speak but also undermine their self-esteem and confidence, emphasizing the importance of proactive children's oral care to prevent such oral health diseases.

1. Cavities or tooth decay

Cavities are one of children's most common oral diseases. Most kids aren’t good at brushing and flossing without adult supervision. In tandem with the intake of a sugar-heavy diet, cavities may become a major issue later.

Once the teeth and gums get exposed to large amounts of sugar, acids, and starch, it will eat away the enamel. Besides, carbohydrate-enriched foods like soft drinks, cookies, and candy can leave deposits on teeth. It bonds with bacteria in order to form plaque. The amalgamation of plaque and deposits can damage the teeth’s mineral structure. Therefore, it will lead to tooth decay.

How can you protect your child’s teeth from decay?

  • Brush your kid’s teeth once the first one erupts.
  • Use only a tiny amount of toothpaste if your kid is less than 3 years old.
  • Floss your child’s teeth regularly after age 2.
  • Ensure a balanced diet for your child.

2. Gum decay or paediatric gingivitis

Gum diseases are not only adult dental problems; they can also occur in children. It causes inflammation, bone damage, and even tooth loss. Due to poor oral hygiene, gum disease has become more prevalent recently.

This begins with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. At the early stage of this dental issue, the gums can bleed easily. Not only that, but it can also become swollen and red. This is known as gingivitis.

Gradually, it will lead to periodontitis. Your child’s teeth may need to be removed by a dentist to alleviate the oral pain, gum recession, and swelling issues.

How can you keep your kid’s gums healthy?

  • Wipe your child’s gum with a clean cloth twice daily.
  • Ensure deep cleaning of your kid’s teeth.
  • Teach your kid to brush with pea-sized toothpaste twice daily.
  • Use a "smear" of fluoride toothpaste twice a day from the time the first tooth develops until the age of 3. A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used once your child has reached the age of 3.

Read Also : Why Replacing A Missing Tooth Is Necessary

3. Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is common diseases in children. Sensitive teeth may be uncomfortable for your child, distracting him/her from focusing on the studies. Due to several factors, including acid erosion, teeth grinding, decay, and cracked teeth, tooth sensitivity can occur. Therefore, cold/hot food and beverages may cause severe pain and irritation to your kids as they expose the nerve endings.

How do I get rid of sensitive teeth in children?

  • Teach your kid to brush twice a day.
  • Ask your child to floss daily to keep the gums and teeth clean.
  • Have the kid’s gums and teeth checked by a dentist.
  • Use soft toothbrushes for your kid.
  • Use toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.

4. Bad mouth odour

Bad mouth odour is the cause of oral diseases in children. Due to improper oral hygiene maintenance, a foul smell inside your child’s mouth occurs. While they eat any food, the particles of that food remain present between the teeth. Over time, it leads to bacteria formation that causes bad mouth odour. It is also known as halitosis. A foul smell may impact your child's self-esteem.

What is the best remedy for your kid’s bad breath?

  • Brush your kid’s teeth after they eat, especially after dinner.
  • Brush the tongue.
  • Encourage your child to have a healthy diet.
  • Ensure that your child is drinking lots of water
  • Take your kid to a dentist for a detailed check up

5. Excessive thumb-sucking

Many toddlers get accustomed to thumb-sucking to soothe their anxiety. This can develop an issue once your child grows up. It can affect teeth development by causing open bites. It is when the upper front teeth don’t adjust with the lower front teeth. Therefore, it leaves a gap even when the mouth is closed. Your child may face issues during biting, and chewing can even affect the normal flow of speaking.

What strategies can you take to help your kid quit their thumb-sucking habit?

  • You can apply bitter nail polish on your kid’s fingers to discourage them from sucking their thumbs.
  • Use a finger guard.
  • You can use a hand stopper to prevent the child’s elbow from flexing.
  • Establish boundaries and ask your kid to follow them.
  • Bring your kid to the dentist.

How to prevent oral diseases In Children?

Preventing oral diseases in children is essential for their overall health and well-being. Here are some steps and practices to help prevent oral diseases in children:

  • Establish a Dental Routine: Start early by introducing a regular dental hygiene routine. As soon as a child's first tooth appears, begin brushing it with a soft toothbrush and water. Once more teeth come in, use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (appropriate for their age) and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Supervise Brushing: Children often lack the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively. Parents should supervise and assist with brushing until the child can do it properly themselves, usually around the age of 6 or 7.
  • Teach Proper Technique: Teach children the correct brushing technique, including brushing for at least two minutes, covering all tooth surfaces, and using gentle circular motions. Flossing should be introduced when teeth are close together.
  • Balanced Diet: Promote a balanced diet that limits sugary snacks and beverages. Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay. Encourage healthy choices like fruits, vegetables, and water.
  • Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods: Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can erode tooth enamel. Limit the consumption of candies, sodas, and fruit juices.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child, typically every six months. These visits can catch and address any dental issues early.
  • **Fluoride: ** Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Ensure your child has access to fluoride through toothpaste, tap water, or fluoride treatments from the dentist.
  • Dental Sealants: Dental sealants are a protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent cavities. Consult with your child's dentist about the need for sealants.
  • Mouthguards: If your child plays contact sports, consider a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect their teeth from injury.
  • Lead by Example: Children often mimic their parents' behavior. Show good dental hygiene practices by brushing and flossing together.
  • Avoid Sharing Utensils: Discourage your child from sharing utensils or cups with others to prevent the spread of harmful oral bacteria.
  • Proper Bottle and Pacifier Use: Avoid allowing babies to fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice, as it can lead to bottle rot (severe tooth decay). Limit pacifier use as the child gets older.
  • Educate About Oral Health: Teach your child about the importance of oral health and why it's crucial to prevent oral diseases. Make it a fun and educational experience.

Preventing oral diseases in children requires a combination of good oral hygiene practices, a healthy diet, regular dental check-ups, and parental guidance. By establishing these habits early on, you can help your child maintain good oral health throughout their life.

Importance of children’s oral health

According to a recent report, 85% of children in Dubai suffer from tooth decay by the age of 12 years. The survey also claims that 72% of children suffer from Gingivitis. Children's oral care must be started once the first milk teeth arrive. You need to wipe the gums of the babies after the first feeding. For children above the age of 7, flossing must be done at night to reduce cavity formation.

According to a specialist dentist at Magnum Clinic, “As a caring parent, you need to encourage your kid to have a tooth-healthy diet that includes green vegetables, dairy products, broccoli, etc. Also, you must ask your children to avoid frequent consumption of snacks like crackers and potato chips. It can remain in the crevices, which will lead to cavities.

We love your kid’s healthy smiles!

Woo! You just learned about the most commonly encountered oral diseases in children. The truth is that you are always one step further away from protecting your child’s teeth. Our specialists are also ready to take care of the dental needs of your little one. Do the best thing as a parent and schedule a dental appointment today!

Faqs - Most Common Diseases in Children

What are 5 oral health diseases?

Oral health diseases encompass a range of conditions that can affect the mouth, teeth, and gums. Five common oral health diseases include tooth decay (cavities), gum disease (periodontal disease), oral cancer, bad breath (halitosis), and tooth sensitivity. These conditions can have varying degrees of severity and require different prevention and treatment strategies to maintain good oral health. Regular dental check-ups and a consistent oral hygiene routine are essential for preventing and addressing these oral health issues.

How to prevent oral diseases?

Preventing oral diseases is essential for maintaining good dental health. Several key practices can help in this regard. First, maintaining a regular oral hygiene routine, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash, can help remove plaque and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. A balanced diet that limits sugary and acidic foods is also crucial, as these can contribute to dental problems. Regular dental check-ups every six months enable early detection and treatment of issues. Additionally, avoiding tobacco and moderating alcohol consumption can lower the risk of oral cancer. Finally, practicing good oral hygiene habits, such as not sharing utensils and encouraging regular dental care for children, can help prevent oral diseases and maintain a healthy smile.

What are the 5 most common childhood illnesses?

The five most common childhood illnesses are respiratory infections, including the common cold and bronchitis; ear infections, such as otitis media; gastrointestinal infections, like gastroenteritis; skin conditions, including eczema and rashes; and fevers, often caused by various infections. These childhood illnesses are prevalent due to the developing immune systems and close interactions in schools and daycare settings. Proper hygiene, vaccinations, and prompt medical care are essential for managing and preventing these common childhood illnesses.