The Importance Of Regular Dental Visits When Your Child Is Overweight

Unfortunately, childhood obesity has increased to include one in three young children and adolescents. Not only does this lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and joint issues, but it also has a direct correlation to dental problems that can lead to other health conditions. Regular dental checkups are always important for your child, but when your child has weight issues, it is crucial to do so.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

What your child is eating has a direct impact on his or her weight. Foods that are high in sugar content, that include carbohydrates, are often the culprits behind childhood obesity. As these foods are chewed, the digestion process starts to break them down, leaving sugars along the gum line and against the teeth. This causes tooth decay. In addition, other food particles that are left to sit in the mouth will decay and cause gum disease and infections.

Medication Problems

Drug dosages are determined by the weight of the patient. If your child needs to be given an antibiotic for an abscessed tooth, the dentist will need to know how much he or she weighs to prescribe the proper amount of medication. Most dental offices do not have a scale and rely on an average weight for the child's age. This can be problematic when dealing with an antibiotic. When the medication is an anesthetic other than a shot given to numb an area of the mouth, the problem grows. You do not want your child to still feel the pain because not enough medication was given. Regular dental visits are the best way to catch a problem before it progresses to a state that requires medication, or an anesthetic.

Inadequate Nutrition

Unfortunately, overweight people in general tend to have poor nutritional habits. If your child is not getting enough of the proper nutrients, his or her teeth, jawbone and gums may be weak. The enamel that protects the teeth will not be strong enough to do its job and tooth decay will set in easier. When you have regular dental visits to keep serious dental problems away, your child will be better able to chew and digest the important nutrients he or she needs to rebuild the tissues in the body, including the enamel to protect the teeth.

Being overweight affects almost every part of your body. To be able to chew and start the digestion process, your child needs strong, healthy teeth. Regular visits to the dentist can help keep his or her teeth from becoming so decayed they do not play their part in digestion, and can have infections spreading from the mouth to other organs. Work with your child, and his or her pediatrician and dentist to help overcome any weight issues before a serious disease sets in.