Importance of Dental Check Up for a Child
Your child’s oral health is as important as his/her overall health. When taking care of your children’s health do not forget to pay equal attention to the child’s dental. Oral health has an impact on the overall health, positively or negatively. Therefore ensuring that your child has good oral health not only ensures that
he/she has a great smile, but also protects the child from the negative effects of poor oral hygiene.
Importance of Oral Health in Children
Good oral and dental hygiene is the first line of defense against many common dental issues, such as plaque, cavities, bad breath and gum diseases. Studies indicate that dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, and if left untreated, may cause infection, and further lead to premature teeth loss and future dental problems.
This can also affect speech, eating and the overall health. Studies show that poor dietary and inadequate tooth brushing habits during the first 2 years of life are linked to tooth decay in children. Oral health care should begin at infancy. Developing good habits at a young age can help your child have healthy teeth for life.
Taking care of your child’s oral health can begin as early as the child is born, to promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. Babies’ gums must be cleaned with a soft, clean wet washcloth. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle in the mouth.
Teeth can start to decay from the moment they grow in, so proper care is essential right from the very first primary tooth that grows in your baby’s mouth. Once teeth begin erupt, keep them clean using a baby toothbrush. Even though these teeth will fall out within a few years, baby teeth hold a space for your child’s permanent teeth, and therefore it’s important that your child has a healthy mouth when those permanent teeth grow in.
The development of caries (cavities) in primary teeth increases the risk of developing caries in permanent teeth. Therefore it is essential to establish proper oral health care early in life, to help ensure the development of strong and healthy permanent teeth.
Habits such as thumb-sucking, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting during the eruption of permanent teeth may cause problems with the proper growth of the jaw and alignment of the permanent teeth. Therefore identifying those unhealthy habits and preventing them in their early stages can reduce the risk of orthodontics (misalignment) of teeth.
Child’s First Dental Visit
It is recommended that your child’s first dental visit should be at the age of 6 months or when the very first tooth appears.
What to expect during your child’s first visit to the Dental Office?
Your pediatric dentist will check your child mouth to make sure his/her jaws and teeth are developing in the way they should. While checking your baby’s mouth, you will be seated in the dental chair with your child on your lap, if your child does not cooperate to sit in the chair alone.
The dentist will check for mouth injuries, cavities or any other issues that affect oral health. The dentist will clean your child’s teeth by removing plaque build-up or food debris that may be stuck in his/her teeth. Teeth cleaning prevents bacterial growth and prevents tooth decay or inflammation of gums.
Following a thorough cleaning, the dentist will provide dental care tips for daily oral care, like brushing methods, flossing, diet etc. The dentist will suggest you to stop on-demand breastfeeding at bed time after the child’s first teeth grow in, and advise you to feed milk, water, and juice in the cup, instead of the bottle, as it may cause baby bottle tooth decay.
The dentist will explain factors that enhance tooth health – for example, the application of sealants, the use of fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water and other supplements, and eating healthy diet. If necessary, your pediatric dentist can advise you to change your child’s dietary or oral behavior – for example, reducing sugar in the child’s diet etc. If your child has persistent oral habits such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting etc., your dentist will advise habit breaking appliances.
How Often Should Children Have Dental Checkups?
Research shows that children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities as an adult, therefore taking your child for periodic dental checkups is a must. It is recommended that your child’s dental visit should begin as early as 6 months of age or when the first tooth erupts.
The follow-up visits should be twice a year. These two visits annually allow the pediatric dentist to monitor new developments in the child’s mouth, evaluate any oral changes like alignment of teeth or gum health and advise parents on good oral care strategies.
The pediatric dentist will schedule additional follow-up visits if your child is susceptible to tooth decay or if he/she shows early signs of orthodontic problems such as malalignment of teeth. Ensuring your child is taken for dental checkups as early as infancy and through the childhood (upto 15 years) will help prevent dental problems or help address problems such as plaque, tooth decay, gum inflammation and other issues immediately, before it gets chronic. This ensures the growth of healthy permanent teeth and maintenance of good oral hygiene
Schedule your Child’s Dental Visit Today
Have any questions about your child’s dental health? Reach out to Langley Dentist Center, at Langley BC. Our team strives to ascertain the importance of good oral hygiene by developing the child-parent-dentist relationship to help parents practice good oral hygiene habits for their child. Our primary goal is to prevent decay, infection, or other dental problems for your child. Together, as parents and dentists, we can establish a firm foundation for a lifetime of good dental health and prolonged life of smiles. Contact Langley Dentist Center to learn more about children’s oral health, and schedule your child’s visit today!