The Top 5 Reasons Why Children Need to Visit the Dentist

The Top 5 Reasons Why Children Need to Visit the Dentist

Some people do not realize that children need to visit the dentist. The truth is that at-home oral hygiene and professional dental care are vital for maintaining good health and promoting the healthy development of all children.

1. To Learn About Oral Hygiene and Develop Healthy Habits

One of the most important benefits children get from visiting the dentist throughout childhood is learning the importance of good oral hygiene, practicing good oral hygiene, and developing positive habits.

In addition to focusing on preventative care and development, pediatric dentists also place a strong emphasis on patient education because a big part of our responsibility as pediatric dentists is creating positive experiences for children at the dentist’s office, introducing them to oral healthcare tools and concepts, and helping them learn how to care for their teeth and gums on their own with brushing, flossing, and eating a healthy diet in addition to routine professional dental care.

When you bring your child for regular dental exams, you’re helping to set them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene and better health.

2. To Monitor Their Development

When your child visits the pediatrician for a checkup, they are usually weighed and measured to help ensure they are developing normally and do not have any issues or symptoms that could be a cause for concern.

At pediatric dental exams, pediatric dentists also monitor your child’s development, focusing specifically on their oral and maxillofacial structures. If we notice any signs of potential concerns, we can perform further diagnostic tests, such as imaging, to determine if early treatment is necessary.

3. For Early Intervention

If any indications of potential orthodontic issues are present, pediatric dentists can often use early intervention orthodontic treatments to prevent a more complicated problem from developing.

Depending on the child and the individual situation, it is sometimes better to wait for braces until a child is older. However, in some circumstances, we can intervene early while the child’s bone structures are still developing to ensure all of their adult teeth are able to erupt normally to prevent crooked teeth, malocclusion, and other issues that arise as a result of developmental issues with the jawbone, temporomandibular joints, and permanent teeth.

4. To Prevent Oral Health Problems From Developing

Another primary focus of pediatric dentistry is preventative care. Every six months, a child should have a routine professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your child’s teeth. This helps to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease from developing. Additionally, we recommend dental sealants for all children with permanent molars and fluoride treatments to fortify the tooth enamel of children who could be at risk of tooth decay and cavities.

5. Because the Body’s Overall Health Depends on the State of Its Oral Health

There are numerous links between oral health and general health. Poor oral health tends to result in higher levels of harmful bacteria growing inside the mouth. These elevated levels of bacteria can result in the development of periodontal disease (a bacterial infection of the gums) which is correlated and linked to several serious systemic diseases and health concerns.

Some of the conditions related to gum disease include respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, certain types of cancer, and reproductive challenges.

Visiting the dentist regularly can help protect your child from developing gingivitis and periodontal disease in addition to lowering their risk for developing the above-listed systemic health problems.

When Should a Child Have Their First Dental Appointment?

The American Dental Association recommends that most children should have their first dental appointment either when their first tooth erupts or by the time they have their first birthday – whichever happens first. From that appointment on, pediatric dentists work with their patients’ parents to determine an appropriate schedule of visits. Typically, most children should visit the dentist twice a year or once every six months for a dental cleaning and examination.

What Happens at a Pediatric Dental Appointment?

The nature of a pediatric dental appointment varies greatly based on the child’s age, stage of development, and any special needs they might have. We tailor our appointments and patient explanations to meet our patients where they are in terms of maturity, understanding, and comfort level. Our top priority is to ensure all of our patients have positive experiences when they visit the dentist to ensure that they learn to associate dental care with good things.

Typically, a child’s dental examination includes a gentle, yet thorough cleaning, with special scaling and polishing tools. This cleaning is then followed by an examination with our dentist. We might also recommend additional preventative care treatments such as fluoride or dental sealants.

Depending on your child’s needs, we might also take a set of dental X-rays to monitor their development and screen for signs of any potential issues that are not visible to the naked eye. If our dentist detects any signs of cavities or other potential issues, we then discuss our findings with you and work with you to determine the best course of treatment.

Promote Your Child’s Healthy Smile

At Hassey Do Duy Dental Associates, we’re proud to provide comprehensive care to your whole family. We offer comprehensive pediatric dental care and our team is experienced in treating children of all ages. To learn more or schedule an appointment for your child, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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