COVID-19 and Children’s Oral Health: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 disrupted many of our routines with our kids, including dental check-ups. The pandemic put immense stress on our healthcare systems, which lead to the delay of non- essential treatments, including routine dental appointments for children.

Although putting off dental visits for children may not seem like a big deal, kids continue to experience the impacts of a lack of preventative care during the pandemic, which has the potential to cause long-term effects on children’s oral health.

It’s essential for parents to prioritize their children’s dental health now more than ever. Here’s what you need to know about how the pandemic continues to impact children’s oral health.

Children Are at a Higher Risk of Tooth Decay

Regular dental visits are crucial because they allow the dentist to identify early signs of tooth decay before they become severe. However, since cavities are already a significant concern in children, putting off regular dental visits during the pandemic only worsened the problem, especially for children living in poverty [1].

Tooth decay among both baby and permanent teeth can impact a child’s health, development, and quality of life, which can significantly impact children as they age.

Delayed dental visits can result in cavities that develop and progress unchecked, meaning your child may need a filling, root canal, or an extraction instead of minimal intervention such as a cleaning or fluoride application.

Gingivitis May Be More Likely

Although we tend to think of gum disease as a problem only adults face, the truth is that gingivitis—the earliest stage of gum disease—is not uncommon among children.

The COVID-19 pandemic worsened gum health due to lack of preventative care, and children had a higher risk of bleeding gums during the pandemic, one of the primary symptoms of gum disease [2].

In addition, children have experienced unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety during the pandemic, which can influence the immune system and make gingivitis and related gum disease symptoms more likely [3].

What You Can Do to Encourage a Healthy Smile

Prevention has always been better than cure, so incorporating good oral health habits into your child’s daily routine and keeping regular dental appointments can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease that result from limited access to preventative care during the pandemic.

Children should receive dental check-ups every six months, and dentists are seeing patients normally again, so if your child is overdue for a visit, don’t wait to schedule one. If you don’t have dental insurance, many practices will work with you to help ensure your child gets the preventative care they need for a healthy smile.

When Was Your Child’s Last Dental Exam?

COVID-19 has significantly impacted our collective health and wellness, and it’s essential to continue prioritizing our children’s health, including their dental health. Delaying dental appointments can have long-lasting effects and can lead to more significant health issues in the future.

Incorporating good oral hygiene habits in your child’s daily routine and keeping those regular check-ups can help maintain your child’s overall oral health, so contact your pediatric dentist today!


COVID-19 and Children’s Oral Health: What You Need to Know
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COVID-19 and Children’s Oral Health: What You Need to Know
It’s essential for parents to prioritize their children's dental health now more than ever. Here’s what you need to know about how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact children’s oral health.
Potomac Family Dentistry
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Dr. Ahmed Uthman
Dr. Uthman also began practicing general dentistry in 1997, and went on to gain advanced training in orthodontics in 2006. He is dedicated to his patients, and strives to provide treatments that address the underlying issues that cause most cosmetic conditions. He has a great amount of compassion for his patients, and believes that having a long lasting doctor/patient relationship helps to increase the quality and effectiveness of care. Due to his commitment to a high standard of care and additional training, Dr. Uthman is also recognized as an Invisalign Preferred Provider. Dr. Uthman spends much of his free time with his wife and daughters. He enjoys watching soccer matches, playing tennis, and has recently taken up golf as well. Dr. Uthman is trilingual, speaking Kurdish, Arabic, and English.