Teaching Your Kids about Gingivitis

closeup of child's mouthGingivitis is an affliction of the gums that more people than you think experience. In fact, many people have some degree of gingivitis, causing them to suffer from inflamed gums that bleed when they floss their teeth. Therefore, teaching your children early on about the dangers of gingivitis and how they can prevent it with routine dental care will serve them well for years to come.

What to Know about Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a periodontal disease that is characterized by inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. Common signs include bleeding, swelling, redness, and pain in the gums. Long-term effects of gingivitis include receding gums, development into gum disease, and even loss of periodontal architecture. Work to communicate to your children that proper dental hygiene will prevent these problems in the mouth from developing.

The Link Between Gums and Dental Health

It’s important to help your children understand that gum health and dental health work off of one another when it comes to your overall oral health. Gums protect and support teeth, as well as the tissue that holds them to the bone. Meanwhile, plaque buildup on teeth, especially that located at the gumline, can quickly work to cause red, inflamed gums.

Healthy Gums for Overall Health

The effects of healthy gums don’t stop in the mouth, either. Your kids will be more likely to strive for healthy gums when they understand that their efforts in the realm of oral hygiene will benefit more than just their mouths. Healthy gums have been shown to reduce risk of infection, keep blood sugar stable, preserve memory, and even lower the risk of heart disease. They even promote strong mental health, as those with healthy gums will have more self-esteem and confidence in showing off their pearly whites.

How Your Kids Can Fight Gingivitis

There are many things that you can teach your child to do in order to help them keep gingivitis from affecting them. Encourage him or her to brush and floss regularly, and when they brush, to do so in gentle, circular motions at an angle that will work to massage the gums. Help them to understand as well that though flossing could cause their gums to bleed at first, ridding their teeth of plaque buildup and food debris on a regular basis will make for stronger, healthier gums.

Be an Example for Your Kids

While imparting knowledge and teaching habits to your children go a long way, those things won’t stick unless you act as a role model for dental hygiene. So take them to the dentist regularly, practice brushing your teeth with them, and show them the miracles that long-term dental care can do for the mouth.