Did you know that over half of children aged 6 to 8 have cavities in their baby teeth?

Cavities caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that can build up on teeth, are among the most common dental issues in children. Plaque can produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, leading to cavities.

An Elizabethtown pediatric dentist can treat cavities, among other common dental issues like gum disease, tooth sensitivity, and loose or missing teeth. The dentist will identify any problems early on and recommend the best course of treatment.

If you need more details on dental issues in kids and tips on preventing them, read on to find out.


Also known as tooth decay, cavities are a common dental issue in kids. Kids cavities stem from plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on teeth. Children’s teeth are more susceptible to cavities since the enamel is thinner and less developed.

It’s common for children not to brush their teeth properly to remove all plaque. They may also eat more sugary foods. Sugary foods and drinks feed bacteria that cause plaque.

You can also talk to your child about the importance of good oral hygiene. Kids are more likely to develop good oral hygiene habits if they understand the importance of it. Following these tips can help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy and prevent cavities.

Gum Disease

Gum disease may lead to red, swollen, and bleeding gums in kids. It can also make the gums pull away from the teeth, which can make the teeth loose. Gum disease also causes bad breath and pain in the gums and teeth.

One of the causes of this disease is plaque. Plaque can harden into tartar and irritate the gums. Gum disease can progress to more serious forms, such as periodontitis, if untreated.

As a parent, break bad oral habits, such as thumb sucking or nail biting. These habits can put pressure on your child’s gums and contribute to gum disease. You should also see a kid’s dentist in Elizabethtown, KY if your child has a history of gum disease.

If your child has braces or other orthodontic appliances, clean them properly. Braces and other orthodontic appliances trap plaque and bacteria. And this can increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Tooth Sensitivity

One of the causes of tooth sensitivity in kids is enamel erosion. The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, which protects the tooth from decay and sensitivity. It can wear out when it gets into contact with acids, such as those found in citrus fruits, sodas, and sports drinks.

Tooth sensitivity can also stem from gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gums gradually pull away from the teeth. It can expose the roots of the teeth, which are more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

It may only be noticeable in mild cases when the teeth come into contact with cold or hot foods or drinks. But in severe cases, it may be painful even when the teeth are not in contact with anything. If your child has tooth sensitivity, ask an Elizabethtown kids dentist to recommend desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash.

Loose or Missing Teeth

Since baby teeth are naturally loose, they tend to fall out to make way for permanent teeth. The process usually starts around the age of 6 and is usually complete by the age of 12. Sometimes baby teeth can come out prematurely due to injury, decay, or gum disease.

Tooth decay can make teeth loosen since it causes holes in the teeth. If not treated, it can eventually destroy the tooth and cause it to fall out. Gum disease also causes teeth to loosen and destroy the bone that supports the teeth.

If your child has a loose or missing tooth, see a dentist to determine the cause and get treatment. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary. A pediatric dentist in Elizabethtown may recommend placing a space maintainer to keep the other teeth from shifting.

In more serious cases, the dentist may need to extract the tooth or refer your child to an orthodontist. Meanwhile, take your child to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. You should also talk to them about dental hygiene for kids.

Orthodontic Problems

Irregularities in the alignment of the teeth or jaws are orthodontic problems. They are a common dental issue in children, affecting more than half of children by the age of 12. Their causes include genetics and oral habits, such as nail or cheek biting.

An example of an orthodontic problem is crowding, which makes the teeth overlap. Crowding can make cleaning the teeth difficult. This may increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

See an orthodontist if your child has any of these orthodontic problems. Early treatment can help to prevent or correct the problem and prevent future problems. You should also encourage good oral hygiene and break bad oral habits.


Your kid may have a malocclusion if there’s a misalignment in their teeth or jaws. Some malocclusions stem from inherited traits, such as the shape and size of the teeth/jaws. Thumb sucking can also put pressure on the teeth and jaws, causing misalignment.

Malocclusion can make it harder to chew food properly. It can also make it difficult for your kid to speak clearly. Cleaning the teeth properly also becomes a problem, increasing the risk of gum disease.


Teeth grinding can occur during the day/night in children. It’s common due to stress, anxiety, teeth misalignment, and habits that children pick up. Grinding tends to damage teeth and cause them to loosen or chip.

It can also wear away the enamel on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities and other problems. Other consequences of grinding include headaches and jaw pain, making it difficult to open the mouth or chew. If you think your child is grinding their teeth, see a pediatric dentist to diagnose and recommend treatment options.

Schedule a Consultation With an Elizabethtown Pediatric Dentist Today

Dental problems can affect kids of all ages, but some are more common than others. An Elizabethtown pediatric dentist can help your child enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth.

Book your child’s next dental appointment at Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children today.