With National Gum Care Month just around the corner, we’re taking the opportunity to offer parents important information they need to help their kids take care of their gums.
If your child has ever struggled with bleeding gums when brushing, you know what a scary experience that can be. It can sometimes be hard to figure out where the bleeding is coming from and why.
Just like with adults, gums bleeding for no reason can be a sign of an underlying oral health problem.
Numerous factors can contribute to bleeding gums, including brushing too hard or having the wrong toothbrush. Infections in their mouth can also cause gums to bleed and if left untreated, can cause discomfort.
Here at Children’s Choice, we’re happy to answer your questions and ease your concerns about your child’s oral health. Here are some of the causes of bleeding gums, and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
Brushing Too Hard
When your child is learning how to brush their teeth, they may apply too much pressure on their teeth and gums, which can cause them to bleed.
While it may sound improbable that your child may over brush their teeth, this is common with young children and toddlers.
Most kids are often excited and eager to start brushing their teeth without adult help and may do it too hard. Their gum tissue can become tender or irritated, leading to bleeding.
You can supervise your children while they’re brushing to prevent this from happening. While at it, explain to them about brushing with care so they can improve their overall brushing routine.
You can help your child be gentler when brushing and flossing to prevent further irritation and bleeding.
Brush Bristles are Too Hard
Not all toothbrushes are made for kids. That’s why it’s important to double-check the brush bristles to ensure that they’re soft and comfortable for your children.
If your child uses a brush with hard bristles, they can injure their gums, causing them to bleed. If possible, ask your pediatric dentist for a recommendation of a good brand of children’s toothbrushes.
Not Brushing Enough (Bad Oral Hygiene)
Poor oral hygiene can cause bleeding gums. This is one of the surest ways to tell when your child is not brushing their teeth the recommended number of times per day.
Your child’s gums can start bleeding due to inflammation from not brushing enough. This happens when there’s an increase of plaque accumulation on their gum line.
Every time your child skips brushing time, the bacteria in plaque can spread. This leads to gum disease and tooth decay and is the leading reason why gums bleed.
The best way to prevent this is to ensure that your children brush their teeth at least twice a day (before bed and when they wake up).
Additionally, your child may not be able to remove all the plaque between their teeth by brushing alone. You can help them start flossing once a day to remove the remaining plaque between their teeth.
Gums Bleeding While Flossing
Your child’s gums may experience minor bleeding while they’re learning to properly floss. During this time, you can help your child by preparing warm water with a bit of salt that they can use for rinsing their mouths. This can help decrease initial pain and inflammation of their gums.
If the problem persists after a week or so, you may need to help your child with flossing. Improper flossing can injure the crevices between your child’s teeth. These areas are sensitive and can easily bleed when poked.
In other instances, you may need to contact us for professional help in treating the bleeding gums as it may indicate a more severe dental problem.
Periodontal Gum Disease and Gingivitis
This is one of the biggest causes of bleeding gums in children. Fortunately, you can easily prevent gum disease by ensuring your child adopts an excellent oral health routine. This involves making sure they brush for no less than 2 minutes, twice a day, and floss at least once a day.
You can tell your child is suffering from gingivitis by looking out for various symptoms. These include:
- Receding gums
- Swollen gums
- Red and tender gums
- Easily bleeding gums
If your child shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s best to contact our professionals at Children’s Choice and schedule an appointment. Your child may have to undergo a deep dental cleaning to get rid of all the plaque that’s causing the gum infection or gum disease.
The dentist may also check your child’s teeth for any pockets caused by infected gum tissue or any areas that are swollen. We may also prescribe medication if there’s an infection that needs treatment.
Medications themselves can also be a cause of bleeding gums in children. Some medications can cause your child’s gum to be more sensitive to inflammation. Let your dentist know of any new regimen of drugs your child is taking.
How to Prevent Gingivitis in Your Children
Although gingivitis is a nationwide problem, it’s also easily preventable. Apart from the usual brushing and flossing routine, you may need to take extra measures to ensure your child has healthy gums.
- Start by experimenting with different brush bristles to find one that works best for your child.
- Pay extra attention to your child’s brushing routines.
- Check their toothbrushes for excessive wear and tear, and exchange them every 3 months. Let them choose the toothbrush to bring excitement to their oral routine.
- Make sure to take them to routine dental checkups as recommended by your pediatric dentist at Children’s Choice.
Take Charge of Your Family’s Oral Health
While your child may occasionally experience bleeding gums from brushing or flossing too hard, it’s important to let your dentist know whenever this happens to ensure it’s not something more serious.
If your child is experiencing bleeding gums persistently, come in to see our pediatric dental specialist at Children’s Choice for an evaluation.