4 Tips & Treatments To Prevent Gum Disease In Kids

4 Tips & Treatments To Prevent Gum Disease In Kids

Gingivitis, or gum disease, can result in painful mouths, teeth, and gums for children. This disease can make it difficult for your little ones to eat and can lead to many other problems if it worsens, so any sign of sore teeth and gums should be seen as soon as possible by a kid’s dentist in Singapore.

What is Gingivitis?

The gingiva is the gum that surrounds the teeth. When plaque builds up around the gingiva and hardens to become tartar, it can cause the gingiva to become inflamed, swollen, bleeds and very painful.

Plaque is a sticky substance, mainly composed of bacteria, that is naturally created when starch and sugar in your food react with the bacteria in your mouth. This sticky substance glues itself to the surface of the teeth.

If the plaque is not removed, it hardens to become tartar. This tartar provides a haven for bacteria that irritate the gums. Over time irritated gums can redden, swell, bleed easily, or even recede causing sensitivity and pain in the tooth.

These are the most common symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Dark red gums that are swollen and painful
  • Gums that are receding 
  • Gums that easily bleed while brushing your teeth
  • Bad breath

Children can be more prone to gingivitis as they are still learning good dental habits, and may not be as diligent as we want them to be. As parents and caregivers, it is important to teach your child good dental hygiene habits to avoid gingivitis and other serious gum diseases. Receiving even regular dental care can be intimidating for young children, and we want to minimise kids coming in for advanced treatments unless necessary.

Some simple precautions include:

1. Regular cleaning and brushing

The buildup of tartar that causes gingivitis can be tackled with daily brushing at least twice a day. When this is done regularly, the plaque is cleaned off before it can harden into tartar. If your child is still too young to brush their own teeth thoroughly, make sure to supervise, help, and guide them until they develop the habit themselves.

2. Regular dental care for children

An annual oral health check is important from the moment your child cuts their first teeth. This enables our dentists to monitor your child’s oral health, recommend dental care tips, and work with you to tackle any serious issues that may be happening.

3. Healthy diet options

Reducing sugar intake can help keep tartar from developing. Provide fresh fruits and vegetables as an alternative to sugary snacks, and drink plenty of water. Teach your children that sugary snacks are okay now and again, but everyday nibbles should come from the healthy snack box!

4. Medicine or other hormonal changes

Medicine or hormonal changes such as puberty can affect your kid’s oral health, such as by making the gums more sensitive and susceptible to gingivitis, or by causing dry mouth which can increase bacteria growth.

You can ask the doctor who prescribed the medication for information, or make an appointment with our friendly dentists at any FDC dental clinic.

How to Treat Gum Disease in Kids

Early stages of gum disease can be treated by gently removing the tartar from below the gum line during regular scaling and polishing every 6 months. For more severe cases, the dentist may need to do root planing (deep cleaning) to remove plaque deposits.

Some kids may be more prone to gum disease due to genetics; in these situations, they may need to visit a dentist once every 4 months for regular maintenance or treatment.

Family Dental Centre’s multi-speciality team of experienced dentists provides dental health care for the entire family at our 18 dental clinics across Singapore. We also offer emegency dental services for urgent cases, with a 24-hour hotline and care team.