Gingivitis is hardly an adult disease. When bad bacteria settles on and in between our teeth, and we don’t do enough to sweep it away via proper brushing, flossing and rinsing, it can start to build up. And there’s no bigger playground for this bacteria than in the mouth of a teenager. With the sudden rise in hormones, inconsistent oral hygiene habits, and carb-heavy meals like pizza and sweets, your teenager could make a prime candidate for gingivitis.
Importance of Good Oral Hygiene in Adolescence
During puberty, an increased level of hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum's sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque.
This is when it is very important to follow a good at-home dental hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care.
Advice for Parents
Gingivitis doesn’t happen overnight, so the single best thing you can do to help your teenagers avoid gingivitis is to get them to the dentist at least twice a year. Early diagnosis is important for the successful treatment of any levels of gum disease.
The most important preventive step against gingivitis and more advanced gum disease is to establish good oral health habits with your child.
Here are basic preventive steps to help your child maintain good oral health:
At Barnes & McDonnell Pediatric Dentistry we strive to provide kind, comfortable care for your child that is affordable for you. We specialize in oral health care for infants, children, and adolescents up to the age of 20, including those with special medical or developmental needs. Our offices provide a full range of sedation and anesthesia services for the comfort and convenience of our patients and our team is specially trained to provide your children with individualized attention and care exclusively tailored to their needs. To set up an appointment with one of our pediatric dentist offices, please call the location most convenient for you – Port Orange, FL (386)760-0550 or Ormond Beach, FL (386)676-7763.
- Establish good dental hygiene habits early. Parents can brush baby’s teeth with an infant toothbrush as soon as they erupt. When the gaps between your child's teeth start to close, flossing can begin.
- Serve as a good role model by practicing good dental hygiene habits yourself.
- Schedule regular dental visits for family checkups, periodontal evaluations and cleanings.
- Check your child's mouth for the signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums, gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.