Nearly 300,00 children in the United States are affected with  Juvenile Arthritis.

Two different types of arthritis may affect children: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Juvenile arthritis is autoimmune diseases, which means that their immune system is attacking healthy cells in their body. A child with juvenile arthritis may complain of stiffness and inflammation. They may experience pain after they wake up in the morning or after a nap. Their knees, hands, feet, neck or jaw joints may be painful. They also experience high fever and skin rashes which may appear and disappear quickly. Some may also experience swelling, eye inflammation and growth issues wherein one leg or arm may be longer than the other or their chin may be mishappened.

July is the Juvenile Awareness Month, and you may be wondering how this has to do with dental issues among children.

Juvenile arthritis causes a child’s joint to become stiff and painful, thus makes the brushing and flossing harder, affecting oral hygiene.

They are also prone to gum inflammation and infection.

Maintaining a good hygiene is extremely important with kids dealing with juvenile arthritis. How do you accomplish it?

  1. Keeping the inflammation causing bacteria to a minimum is essential for children with juvenile arthritis. As parents, you don’t want your kids to deal with other challenges aside from the one they already have. So assist them if they are experiencing difficulty holding their toothbrushes. Have them use a toothbrush with a big handle or attach it to a ball to allow them to grip the handle easily and painlessly.
  2. Have them use floss holders when they are flossing for them to reach the back recesses of their mouths.
  3. Join support groups to get moral support from families experiencing the same issue.
  4. Encourage your child to exercise based on his/her doctor’s recommendations and also enroll him/her in a physical therapy class.

Help your kids by keeping your regular appointment with his or her dentist. Newport Beach dentist F. Anthony Rich DDS recommends a regular dental visit at least every six months to check or monitor them for signs of any inflammation or gum issues.