When it comes to your kid’s oral health, it’s easy to fixate on the teeth. Worrying about cavities. lost teeth, or the potential for braces is important, but teeth only make up half of what a pediatric dentist will deal with to ensure that your children have a lifetime of proper oral health. We’re talking of course about gums! They get upstaged by teeth quite often, but they should not be ignored when it comes to creating a healthier mouth overall for your child’s life.
Keeping Teeth in Place
Your teeth can be completely cavity free and spotlessly white, but that won’t matter one bit if healthy gums aren’t there to keep them in place. Gums act as a protective border that holds teeth up and covers some the most important tissues and nerves connecting teeth to the body. Poor gum health can mean that they slowly deteriorate over time, exposing teeth to higher chances of cavities, the risk of infection, and loose teeth that won’t function as well or cause pain over time. This is where mouthwash and flossing become so important to your child’s overall oral hygiene. Without these crucial steps, gums may deteriorate and open your child up to these severe problems.
Healthy Gums, Healthy Hearts
Plenty of studies have consistently linked gum health to heart disease and even stroke. For the most part, gums have served as an early indicator of the overall health of a person’s heart, with the actual connection and reason why being up for debate. So, it might not be completely true that keeping healthier gums leads to a healthier heart, but we know paying attention to them and doing all the things that help gums (like better diet, consistent teeth brushing/flossing) is only going to help.
Gums and Bacteria
The bacteria in your mouth that leads to plaque and tooth decay can find its way into your bloodstream if your gums have become weak and damaged. This could play into part of the reason gums are linked with the heart, but scientists have also found connections between gum health and arthritis, increased likelihood of infections, and arthritis. Keeping gingivitis away from your gums as a child is not just great for your teeth, but could have a major impact on serious conditions that often develop later in life.
When you are teaching your children about proper oral health, don’t forget to talk to them about the importance of their gums. Creating a regimen of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash is the best way to keep teeth white and gums healthy–and in the process maybe avoid a lot of other health issues that can pop up later on.