Diabetic children's dental needs are something that many traditional dentists are unprepared for. A study in the Pediatrics medical journal suggests that children with type 1 diabetes will have their adult teeth come in at a younger age than children without diabetes, usually between the ages of 10 to 14. Special Dental Considerations for Children With Diabetes
Why is it a potential concern for diabetic children?
When adult teeth come in at an accelerated rate, especially amongst baby teeth, there is a heightened chance for crowded and poorly aligned teeth. Overcrowded teeth can make proper cleaning of their teeth difficult, heightening the risk of cavities and gum infection. Their natural smile may also not be as beautiful as it could be, and the need for cosmetic dental procedures could arise in later years.
The cause for diabetic children getting their adult teeth early is not clear. However, one possibility is that gum inflammation could be involved. Children with diabetes are more prone to inflamed gums, which can thin out the bones beneath the teeth. This may allow the adult teeth to erupt more quickly, causing dental problems early on in diabetic children.
Close Dental Attention for Diabetic Children
Children with diabetes should visit their dentist regularly so their adult teeth can be closely monitored and corrected quickly. In addition, parents of children with diabetes may make notes of when they begin to lose their baby teeth, and if they notice any adult teeth coming in.
They should visit a dentist who specializes in diabetic dental care. A knowledgeable dentist who knows the proper treatments and precautions to use when treating diabetic children is a valuable asset to their diabetes management team. Children with diabetes can put the treatment of teeth in trusted hands, without fear of diabetic complications while in the dentist chair.
Parents of diabetic children should discuss their concerns with their dentist, and come up with an action plan that takes both their teeth and their diabetes into consideration. Frequent brushing and flossing can help prevent gum infection and plaque buildup even if teeth crowding has begun, which will help keep blood sugars under control. Proper blood sugar management will also reduce the chances of dental problems, now and later in life.
A Beautiful Smile for Children with Diabetes
If teeth crowding has already begun, orthodontics and braces are good options to restore a diabetic child's healthy smile. Depending on the child's dental situation, braces may be put on immediately, or scheduled for a later date when more adult teeth are present. A dentist specializing in diabetic care can also determine the proper safety measures to take during the orthodontic procedures, and will be ready if any diabetic complications arise.
There is no reason why a diabetic child should have to suffer with poorly aligned teeth. Many options are available to restore their winning smile. Children with diabetes have their overall health to consider, not just the cosmetic beauty of their teeth. With proper dental care and blood sugar management, diabetic children can have many healthy years ahead of them!