We are all familiar with the proverb, the early bird catches the worm. When it comes to your child’s oral health, you should always seek to help them achieve optimal oral health as soon as possible. Believe it or not, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. It is also recommended by the American Dental Association that a dental checkup be done at least every six months. By scheduling regular dentist appointments, your child will always be able to have his or her smile and teeth looking and feeling its best! A dental checkup goes beyond just having great looking teeth though. Good oral health sets the precedence for the overall well being of your child’s body. By routinely visiting the dentist, you can:
Identify Early Signs of Dental Issues
Many would agree that prevention is the way to go and early detection of oral issues with your child is no different. One of the main goals of regular dental checkups is to identify oral issues early. Identifying these issues can help prevent diseases such as cavities also called tooth decay or caries and gum disease. Those issues often times are a result of children having a tendency to gravitate towards sugary meals and treats. In addition, many young children have not yet mastered the art of effective brushing and flossing, so regular dental visits are essential in order to remove the buildup and bacteria that may have been missed. It is usually the bacteria and buildup that causes cavities and plaque to be formed so it is crucial to have these eliminated before they worsen. In some cases, EJL Dental’s pediatric dentists might recommend the application of a sealant or fluoride to reduce the chances of decay. Early detection saves time, money and the future discomfort that will come from treatments that may become necessary later on.
Teach your child what good oral health means
As parents, we always try to ensure your children have the best dental care and practice optimal oral hygiene. This means pointing out the importance of preventing tooth decay at an early age. During each stage of their childhood, there are steps you can take to encourage them to be more responsible for their oral health. It is important to reinforce the need to brush and floss, among other practices. This is vital to preventing future oral health problems. As stated earlier, the ADA recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears. Also keep in mind that the best way to reinforce these best practices for dental care is when you yourself as the parent sets a good example.
What to do in between visits
While dental check ups should happen regularly, you should track your child’s oral hygiene between visits as well. Encouraging healthy dental hygiene at home is also key to maintaining healthy teeth throughout their lives. You can keep track of their growth stages, provide appropriate nutrition and control unhealthy habits such as thumb sucking, to help maintain oral health. At EJL Dental, our pediatric dentists recommend that parents pay extra attention to their child’s dental habits, as their behavior at this early stage of life could have far reaching effects on their complete health in the future. Focus on the simple ethos of helping your child maintain a healthy smile.
Taking care of your child’s oral health plays a huge role in their overall preventative health. Regular dental check ups gives us a chance to single out potential dental health issues, help you as parents to reinforce the importance of good oral health and what should be done in between visits. As there is no such thing as too early, EJL Dental wants you to beat the back to school and before camp rush. Don’t be caught last minute trying to make an appointment and have your child miss one of the most important appointments of the season! Schedule an initial or follow up appointment with us here. We look forward to helping you send your child to school or camp with a healthier, more beautiful smile!