Common Dental Issues Among Children (Plus Prevention Tips)

a child having her dental check up
  • Cavities can be prevented by brushing twice daily, limiting sugary foods and beverages, and receiving regular fluoride treatment.
  • Gum disease can be prevented through good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing at least twice daily.
  • Bruxism can be managed with relaxants or exercises to strengthen jaw muscles and wearing a mouthguard.
  • Crooked teeth can be prevented through dental devices like space maintainers or corrected with orthodontic treatments.
  • Parents should schedule regular dental checkups, brush their child’s teeth twice daily, limit sugary foods/drinks, and encourage good habits.

It is a known fact that oral health is essential for overall well-being. And it is equally necessary to ensure that children maintain good oral hygiene from an early age. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, children tend to suffer from dental issues.

As a parent, it is essential to understand children’s common dental issues and preventative measures that can be taken. Here are the most common dental issues experienced by children, and we offer some helpful tips to prevent them.


Cavities are perhaps the most common dental issue experienced by children. They occur due to a buildup of bacteria and sugar in the mouth, which then combine to form an acid that can lead to tooth enamel erosion.

As a result, holes or cavities start forming on the tooth surface. To prevent cavities, it is essential to encourage children to brush their teeth twice a day and limit sugary foods and beverages. Regular dental checkups and fluoride treatment can also be effective in preventing cavities.

Gum Disease

little boy with toothache

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, affects the tissues surrounding the teeth and can cause swelling, redness, and soreness in the gums. This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, with plaque and bacteria being the main culprits.

To prevent gum disease, it is essential to encourage children to brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, floss daily, and use an antibacterial mouthwash. Dental professionals can also recommend specific dental products to help prevent gum disease.


Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is when a person unconsciously grinds or clenches their teeth, usually while sleeping. This can cause enamel to wear down, teeth to chip, and even facial pain.

To prevent bruxism, relaxants can be prescribed by a dental professional. Strengthening jaw muscles through exercises or wearing a mouthguard are preventative measures to help manage bruxism.

Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth are common in children, and various factors such as genetics, thumb sucking, and early tooth loss can cause them. Crooked teeth can lead to difficulty chewing, speech issues, and low self-esteem.

While some children’s teeth may straighten out independently, orthodontic treatments can help correct crooked teeth. Dental professionals can also recommend preventative measures like using dental devices like space maintainers.

Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

As a parent, you must instill good dental habits in your children from a young age. By doing so, you not only help them avoid the pain of tooth decay but also set them on a path to a lifetime of good oral hygiene.

Schedule regular dental check-ups

Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health. As such, finding a family dentist you can trust and scheduling regular visits is the best way to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy.

According to professional advice, children should have dental check-ups every six months, starting at one year of age. During these visits, the dentist will check for any signs of tooth decay and provide professional cleaning.

Start brushing your child’s teeth early

a child brushing his teeth

When your child’s first tooth arrives, it would be best to start brushing it twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. When brushing their teeth, use a small amount of toothpaste the size of a pea. Move your brush in circular motions while brushing. You can gently brush the gums to remove bacteria and prevent gum disease.

Limit sugary foods and drinks.

To prevent tooth decay, limiting your child’s consumption of sugary foods and drinks is essential since sugar is the main culprit. Instead, opt for healthier snacks like fruits and vegetables. If your child does have a sugary treat, encourage them to brush their teeth afterward. Drinking water after eating can also help wash away any food particles stuck in the teeth.

Encourage good dental habits

Finally, encourage good dental habits in your children. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking. Make brushing a fun activity by singing songs or playing games. You can also choose a colorful toothbrush and toothpaste to make it more appealing.

The Bottom Line

Preventing common dental issues among children involves proper oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and healthy food habits. As parents, it is essential to encourage children to take care of their teeth and to visit a dental professional regularly. Parents can help ensure that their children enjoy healthy and happy smiles by staying informed and taking the necessary precautions.

Scroll to Top