November is American Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 283,000 Americans under the age of 20 have been diagnosed with diabetes. If your child has diabetes, they can become more susceptible to dental issues such as cavities. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that they are practicing good oral hygiene.
How can diabetes affect your child’s oral health?
According to the American Dental Association, children with diabetes are at greater risk for gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. This is primarily due to increased blood sugar levels that allow bacteria to thrive. Blood sugar levels also rise with gum disease, making diabetes even harder to control. Diabetes often decreases the amount of saliva in your child’s mouth, making them more prone to cavities. In order to avoid these problems, it’s essential to make sure they stay on top of their oral health.
How should you care for their teeth?
If your child has diabetes, you can help them care for their mouth in several important ways, including:
- Monitor your child’s blood glucose levels.
- Brush their teeth at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss their teeth at least once daily.
- Visit your pediatric dentist at least twice a year.
- Provide healthy meals and avoid sugary drinks.
Be sure to discuss your child’s overall health and medical history with their dental team so they can help provide the best care possible. If you notice any problems such as pain or bleeding in your child’s mouth, call your dentist as soon as possible. Maintaining a good partnership with your dentist can keep your child’s smile healthy and help manage diabetes. Schedule an appointment with us today!