Having good dental health is a great way to help maintain overall body health. After all, anyone who has had a toothache can tell you that you can’t eat properly when your mouth hurts! But more than strong gums and healthy teeth, good dental hygiene helps to prevent bacteria and germs from invading your kid’s body!
Brushing and flossing removes bacteria and food that harbors bacteria from the mouth. This helps to keep quantities of good and bad bacteria balanced. This is especially important when your child is compromised by allergies or while they are sick. Medications like antihistamines and decongestants can make the mouth dry, and with less saliva, your child has less defense in washing away bacteria.
Bacteria left to multiply leads to various diseases. Tooth decay and gum problems are just the beginning.
Some diseases that are associated with neglected oral hygiene include:
Cardiovascular disease: Some research has linked inflammation and mouth bacteria infections to heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries.
Endocarditis:This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves. Typically, the infection is caused by bacteria or fungi from other parts of your body (like your mouth) spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged or weak areas of the heart.
The following conditions can affect your child’s oral health, too:
Colds and allergies: Viruses can wreak havoc in your child’s systems, including breathing behaviors and saliva production. That’s one reason why kids can be really finicky eaters when they’re sick: less saliva can make food taste strange and harder to swallow. Hydrating by drinking plenty of water also wets the mouth, washing away germs and helping your child get better faster. Remember to change toothbrushes after the illness is over!
Diabetes: Diabetes lowers the body’s resistance to infection, so the risk of gum disease is higher in diabetic patients. If your child has Type 1 or early onset Type 2 diabetes, work with your primary care doctor to manage the disease and maintain your child’s overall health. Dental care is even more critical with these systemic conditions.
To maintain optimum dental health, instill a good dental hygiene habit. Brush twice daily, floss, rinse and visit your dentist for dental sealants, cleanings, and other treatments to nip any problems in the bud before they truly become problems!
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.