Helping Your Child Combat Gingivitis Issues

While you may think of gingivitis or gum disease as an adult affliction, chronic gingivitis is often quite common in young kids. The condition can lead to the same decay and gum recession that affects adults, and the gum problem is also just as easily treated. If you see that your child spits out blood when he or she brushes, or if you see the red, swollen, and puffy appearance of the gum tissues that is commonly associated with gum disease, then you should take steps to help your child treat the gum issue.

Encourage Good Tooth Cleaning Practices

Gum disease is caused by an increase in the number of bacteria that sit close to the gum line. Bacteria multiply and sit close to the gums when there is an ample amount of food in the region for the microorganisms to eat. This food consists of the carbohydrates and the plaque that your child leaves in his or her mouth. These things are often left around the teeth when your child brushes. Eventually the plaque turns into tartar and allows even more bacteria to flourish.

The key to treating gum disease is a professional cleaning. Once the cleaning is performed, your child will need to remove as much of the debris from the mouth as possible to cut down on the food available to the bacteria. Purchase your child an age appropriate toothbrush so cleaning is as easy as possible. A brush that is about 20 millimeters by 10 millimeters is a good size. 

After you purchase the right toothbrush, also purchase a plaque revealing product. These products contain a dye that mixes with dental plaque and tints the plaque so it is more visible. Your child should brush their teeth first. The tablet or rinse should then be used. Your child should then brush again and make sure to concentrate on the areas where they see the dye.

Cut Down on the Carbohydrates

Your child's mouth will have its own defenses when combating gum disease. Specifically, the immune system fights off the bacteria to reduce the infection over time. Make sure to help your child support their immune system by providing them with plenty of vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin B. You also should reduce the foods in your child's diet that encourage bacterial activity and gum infection issues. Since bacteria feed on simple and complex sugars, reduce the sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods that your child eats during the day. 

This means cutting back on sweets as well as breads, crackers, chips, and pasta. If carbohydrate or sugar rich foods are eaten, make sure your child rinses their mouth thoroughly with water. Also, asking your child to brush in the middle of the day instead of just in the morning and evening can help to reduce bacterial activity. 

For more tips on how to prevent gum disease in your child, talk to a family dentist like those at Pike Dentistry.