Why Do Children Need Oral Cancer Screenings?
While it’s rare for children to get oral cancer, it’s not impossible. Our pediatric dentists do everything in their power to protect your child’s oral health so they can grow strong and healthy.
If you spot red or white patches (or other abnormalities) in your child’s mouth, call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for your child.
Continue reading to learn why we offer oral cancer screenings as part of our dedication to help children thrive.
Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings
Your child’s oral health affects the rest of their body. If left undetected, oral cancer can spread to the rest of the body. Fortunately, your child’s pediatric dentist will be able to discuss their risk factors for oral cancer with you during their next appointment. Anwill also give you peace of mind as a parent.
Risks for Oral Cancer
Does your family have a history of cancer? If so, you’ll want to mention this to your child’s pediatric dentist. While many of the risk factors for oral cancer don’t often apply to children (like alcohol abuse), it’s still important to watch for any issues that could affect future health. For example, you may want to buy some lip balm with SPF if your child spends a lot of time outside.
Your child has a higher risk for oral cancer if they:
- Used tobacco products
- Abused alcohol
- Have human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Didn’t use sun protection on the lips
- Have a family history of cancer
Even if your child doesn’t have the above risk factors, this doesn’t exclude them from needing an. While minors who smoke have a higher risk than normal for oral cancer, this doesn’t mean other children can’t get the disease. We always believe that it’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why we provide routine oral cancer screenings.
Teen Smoking and Juuling
Many teenagers are getting addicted to nicotine by using Juul, a popular e-cigarette among young people that comes in different flavors like Cool Cucumber and Crème Brûlée. One Juul pod contains as much nicotine as up to two packs of cigarettes.
Do you suspect your teen is using Juul? Since Juul could be a gateway to smoking cigarettes, it’s important to intervene as soon as possible so your teen gets the help they need. Have a conversation with your teen about the dangers of nicotine addiction and how it affects their health. Be sure to also let their pediatric dentist know so they can update your child’s medical history and perform routine oral cancer screenings.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
Is your child’s voice hoarse? Are there red and white patches inside their mouth? These are both signs your child could have oral cancer. If you suspect your child has oral cancer, call us as soon as possible. We can do an oral cancer screening to help catch cancer in its early stages.
Signs of oral cancer include:
- Red or white patches in mouth
- Bleeding sores in mouth
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty biting and chewing
- Pain while chewing
It’s important to understand that many people don’t exhibit symptoms for oral cancer until it’s too late. We always recommend patients see us every 6 months so we can check for abnormalities inside the mouth. A routine oral examination could save your child’s life.
Our pediatric dentists provide oral cancer screenings and other preventive dentistry to protect your child’s health. To schedule your child’s appointment with one of our pediatric dentists, call Children’s Dental Care in Dearborn, Canton, and Livonia.