Most people think of gum disease as something that adults get. But children are at a risk for gum disease, too, and for them, just like with adults, prevention is they key to healthy gums.
Teenagers and sometimes even younger children can develop gum disease or gingivitis, and may require treatment for it. However, prevention is really preferable, and luckily, it's not at all difficult to achieve with regular and thorough oral hygiene.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease will develop as a result of plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film that can build up on teeth when bacteria isn't regularly or sufficiently cleaned off. As more plaque builds up, it hardens into tartar, and this will infect the gums, causing them to become red and swollen.
If gum disease is allowed to develop long term, it can even cause the teeth to become loose and even fall out in the worst cases, because it degrades the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.
Children don't typically develop this serious form of gum disease, but its milder form, gingivitis, is actually quite common in children and even more so in teens.
How Can Gum Disease Be Prevented in Children?
Fortunately, it's easy to prevent gum disease in children and adults, and there's no secret to it; simple good oral hygiene at home and regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and checkups are all there is to it! In short, gum disease can be prevented the same way as tooth decay. Indeed, these two oral health issues usually go hand-in-hand.