Taking care of your child’s smile is an important part of taking care of their overall health. You would never dream of neglecting regular routine health visits, but somehow, dental visits are easily disregarded for younger children.
Children should get routine dental checkups from the time those first teeth start to emerge, but why is pediatric dental care so important? Take a look at some of the biggest reasons pediatric dental care is important for your child.
Children Get Screened for Oral Health Concerns
Just like adults, children can have issues with their oral health. Every child should visit a dentist at least one time before their first birthday to make sure their developing smile is healthy and there are no concerns with their oral health. During the regular childhood dental exams with a pediatric dentist, children will be screened for:
- Signs of gum disease
- Signs of childhood dental caries
- Signs of problems with tooth spacing and alignment
- Signs of issues with the structures of the mouth
Early diagnosis of any of these problems helps thwart small issues from growing bigger as your child gets older. About 56 percent of parents believe their child should only see a dentist after they are two years old, but the sooner you get started, the better. Your child should see a dentist twice a year, every year for a checkup and routine oral hygiene visits.
Children Learn Good Oral Hygiene Habits Early On
Regular dental visits encourage a child to be more vigilant about the health of their teeth. The dentist will show you and your child proper brushing and flossing habits, teach you about the best oral care products for children, and overall make your child more comfortable about tending to oral health habits for the rest of their life. At Cassara Dental, we work really hard to make sure our young patients are comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Your child will get:
- Direct attention from a pediatric professional
- Individualized treatment based on their specific needs and your concerns
- A relaxed environment that is welcoming to younger patients
Some children are naturally anxious about dental treatment, but the more often they are exposed to treatment, the less intimidating the care becomes. Therefore, getting started early when your child is young helps your little one grow accustomed to dental care at the dentist.
Children Avoid Problems with Tooth Decay
By the time children reach the age at which they are starting Kindergarten, about 40 percent of them will have some level of tooth decay according to the Centers for Disease Control. Between 2013 and 2016, at least 16.9 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 19 had untreated dental caries. Problems with tooth decay can start early in a child’s life, and these issues can affect the health of their smile for the long term without proper dental care. Children with untreated dental decay in their baby teeth can:
- Suffer from pain due to their decaying teeth
- Develop dangerous infections in the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth
- Lose baby teeth too early and create problems with speech development
- Be more at risk of decay in permanent teeth
- Be more at risk of gum disease and other illnesses
- Feel self-conscious about sharing their smile with others
Getting regular pediatric dental checkups will ensure that a child’s teeth are properly assessed for any signs of dental caries, which is basically dental decay. When a dentist spots these issues in your child’s mouth, they will work with you to develop a plan to slow the progression of the condition. These plans may include changes in oral hygiene habits, more frequent visits for professional cleaning, fillings for cavities, sealants to protect the teeth from further decay, and more.
Children Get to Achieve the Best, Healthiest Smile
A nice smile is something that is oh-so-important as an adult, but it is also an important thing for a child for more than just aesthetic reasons or for self-confidence reasons. Whether it is issues with spacing and alignment or something else, these issues can hinder a child’s ability to:
- Speak clearly or form words with the proper sounds
- Eat and chew foods the way they should
- Feel confident when in social situations
Early childhood dental checkups and visits that are consistent throughout a child’s life will ensure any problems that exist are immediately handled by a professional. For instance, if a child needs braces to straighten their teeth as an adolescent, regular dental visits will ensure the issue is diagnosed early and handled appropriately.
Trust Your Child’s Smile to Cassara Dental in Mountain View, CA
As you can see, starting your child out with routine dental visits is absolutely critical to their health, well-being, and development. At Cassara Dental in Mountain View, CA, we value each one of our patients, young and old! We are always happy to meet new pediatric patients. Reach out to us to find out more about our pediatric dental care services or to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup for your child.