September is national gum care month, meaning it’s the perfect time to bring up the topic of
keeping your children’s gums clean, specifically, not just making sure they don’t have broccoli
stuck in their teeth.
Why are the Gums Important?
Your gums are the soft tissues in the mouth that hold your teeth in place your entire life. In
addition, they protect the highly sensitive bundles of nerves at the roots of the teeth and seal off
that area from disease and decay-causing bacteria that can infect it. Both your gums and your
(adult) teeth are nearly permanent fixtures in your body, meaning they don’t regenerate like a
fractured bone might over time. That’s why it’s important to keep your gums healthy, because it
helps preserve this important tissue for longer.
Good Gum Health Practices
Despite our best efforts, nearly half of adult Americans have some degree of gingivitis or gum
disease. This is the early stage of gum decay that can lead to symptoms like sensitive teeth,
bleeding gums, and bad breath due to the buildup of bacteria. Helping your young ones develop
healthy gum habits now can help protect them from the development of gum disease and
periodontal disease in the future. The main thing you can do as a parent to encourage good gum health is to schedule routine dental visits for your children. This is because, no matter how good your toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, or flossing habits are, inevitably bacteria will find its way into the little nooks and crannies that you miss.
This can become tartar that can’t be removed without the help of your dentist or hygienist.
Another habit to pick up at an early age is a gentle technique to clean the gum line without irritating it. The gums are sensitive themselves, so scrubbing them to try to remove plaque buildup may end up
doing more harm than good.
Signs of Gum Disease
As a parent, you’re always paying attention to your kids’ hygiene and health, so you’re often one
of the first people to pick up on symptoms when something seems off. If you notice any of the
following signs of gum disease, regardless of when your last appointment was, it might be a
good idea to schedule another exam to see if there’s anything to worry about.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Tooth pain
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
- Profuse bleeding gums when flossing
- Swollen or red gums
- Visibly receding gums
Pediatric Gum Care in Quincy, MA
Our pediatric dental office keeps kids’ experiences at the forefront of everything we do, from
regular cleanings to more substantial procedures. We help your kids feel relaxed and safe as
we use age-appropriate language to educate them on their oral health. To learn more about
what to expect from your first visit, or how we can make this experience as smooth as possible,
browse our website or give our office a call today. We can’t wait to see your loved ones at
Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.