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Great Smile Care: What are the Long-Term Effects of Poor Oral Hygiene?

Jun 27, 2023Pediatric Dentistry

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At Great Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we believe in fostering healthy smiles. And we don’t just focus on today’s dental care – we also want to make sure that your little one enjoys a lifetime of smiles with Great Vibes. But maintaining good oral hygiene can be hard (we know this better than anyone!), and often parents and kids don’t fully understand the downside of long-term plaque buildup, untreated tooth decay, and other oral problems.

Poor dental hygiene in children (and adults) can lead to long-term health issues that extend beyond just their dental health. Let’s look at some of the oral health problems that come hand-in-hand with poor oral health.

Three Ways Oral Health Issues Can Impact You Down the Road

Tooth Decay and Cavities

The most prevalent villain in most dental stories won’t surprise you. It’s tooth enamel decay. Poor dental health paves the path for bad oral bacteria to break down sugary food particles and mealtime leftovers, leading to acid and plaque that eats away at enamel. Teeth and gums take a major hit when you don’t brush your teeth, and it will create dental caries, oral cavity issues, and even tooth loss.

girl holding mouth from tooth pain

Periodontal Disease (That’s a Fancy Term for “Gum Disease”)

Gum disease might sound like something only adults need to worry about, but the foundations are often laid in childhood. Neglected teeth can cause bleeding or swollen gums, also known as gingivitis, and you can even experience mouth sores. If left untreated, these oral health conditions can progress into severe gum disease. Periodontal diseases in their most severe form can lead to the loss of permanent teeth and more. And yes, even kids can see these issues!

Overall Health Impact

Usually, we think that oral infections only impact our teeth, bad breath, and the risk of oral cancer. But our oral health is connected to our overall health, too. Chronic oral conditions can put you at an increased risk for more serious systemic health problems later in life, including cardiovascular disease/heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory diseases, and chronic diseases like diabetes.

Oral disease (and oral cancers) aren’t the only thing that good oral health will prevent!

How to Have a Bright Smile Around the Clock

Well, that was kind of scary, wasn’t it? But there’s great news: all of these issues are largely preventable, even as an adult. With every problem, there’s a solution. Here are three key things to focus on with your children, bringing them the tools they need to maintain proper oral hygiene:

Daily Brushing and Flossing: This is the dynamic duo of dental care! Encourage your children to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes, and floss daily. This helps remove plaque, prevent cavities, and keep those mouth-dwelling sugar bugs at bay!

Healthy Diet: A balanced diet plays a crucial role in oral health. Try to limit your child’s intake of sugary snacks and drinks, as these can contribute significantly to issues. Of course, it’s always good to avoid having an unhealthy diet!

Regular Dental Check-ups: Last but not least, regular visits to Great Smiles Pediatric Dentistry will ensure that any potential problems are caught early (and they’re an essential part of keeping those chompers healthy). Our friendly staff makes check-ups fun and educational, transforming your child’s dental visit into a delightful adventure.

Great Vibes for Every Child in Town!

So, let’s work together to ensure your child’s oral health is given the attention it deserves. With the right care, their smile will not only be beautiful but also a sign of great overall health. At Great Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we’re committed to making that happen – so get your first (or next) appointment on the calendar ASAP!

Positive Communication

Choose a children’s dental practice near you where you and your child feel comfortable. You want good, effective communication and education. Look for a pediatric dentist who takes the time to explain procedures in a child-friendly manner, addressing any concerns or questions your child may have. 

Children dentistry and orthodontics

Final Thoughts on Finding a Pediatric Dentist Near You

Friendly staff and dentists who are skilled in interacting with children can help alleviate anxiety and create a positive dental experience for you and your child. Have a conversation with the staff when you call or ask to have a quick conversation with one of the pediatric dentists before you make an appointment.

Or, if you go and something does not fit about the experience– the service, the location near you, the atmosphere– then switch to a different dentist for your kids.

By prioritizing your child’s comfort, communication, and comprehensive care, you can ensure that they receive the best possible dental experience and lay the foundation for a lifetime of oral health.