Childhood is the foundation of healthy adulthood. Be it education or health, if you train your kid to practice good health care, their adulthood will be healthy and happy. Thus, keeping children’s overall health in check is critical for their proper growth and development. Oral health is crucial to this, and developing healthy habits beginning in childhood helps prevent complications such as tooth decay and premature tooth loss.
In adulthood, the practice of maintaining good oral health can help your kid in maintaining overall health. First dental examination should be received by one. The dentist can educate your child on proper tooth care and detect and correct any problems early on. Pediatric dental care is as important as senior dental care.
However, you must be wondering why a child needs a dental visit? Well, here are some of the reasons why routine dental examinations are beneficial for children:
1. It instills in children an early awareness of the importance of oral health
It is never too early to begin teaching children the value of good oral hygiene. We encourage families to visit their dentist early on to instill good oral health care habits. Dentists for children can help them learn how to properly care for their teeth and teach them the proper way to brush and floss for healthy teeth and gums.
2. It fosters a favourable attitude toward dental visits.
The more frequently children visit dentists, the more accustomed they become to this procedure, which becomes normal. Their fear of the dentist diminishes as they realize that the dentist will not harm them or not every time the dentist gives an injection. Also, regular visits make them understand that a visit to the dentist is necessary to ensure their dental health is in order. Additionally, kids will develop a positive attitude toward dental visits throughout their adolescent and adult years. They will not have to wait long to be checked in the event of a dental emergency. With regular checkups and visits, children will gradually gain confidence and dentist visits will become less stressful. Additionally, the dentist can clean children’s teeth to promote proper oral health and prevent tooth decay and cavities.
3. To detect oral health problems quickly.
When your child’s teeth are examined regularly, any developing problems can be stopped in their tracks and prevented from worsening. This ultimately saves you money and time. Occasionally, issues arise due to poor dental hygiene or diet, which can be stopped and resolved on time if detected early enough. For example, if there is any decay in your kid’s teeth, it can be treated on time, and your kid does not have to bear pain and fear of injection.
4. The significance of routine cleaning
Plaque or tartar frequently forms on teeth, and regular cleaning can prevent bacteria from adhering to teeth. Most children lack the motor skills necessary to properly brush and floss their teeth, where pediatric hygienist treatment comes in. This is critical to remove any debris or buildup that may have been overlooked. Because tooth decay is one of the most prevalent diseases in children, and it is assumed that they will develop cavities later in life, it is critical to identify and treat cavities in their early stages to be managed effectively.
Neglected cavities can cause damage to the teeth, resulting in bacterial infections such as periodontitis and, in severe cases, the need for tooth extractions and fillings. Dental checkups for children should occur at least three to four times a year, or more frequently, depending on your child’s dental needs.
5. It promotes the development of the mouth and teeth healthily.
When baby teeth are strong and healthy, adult teeth emerge strong and beneficial. This is why it is critical to take proper care of baby teeth to prevent them from falling out prematurely. The remaining teeth will advance if this occurs, resulting in the permanent teeth growing crooked or out of place.
6. Keep an eye on your child’s oral health.
Regular checkups inform you about your child’s dental health and identify small decay, overcrowding, crooked teeth, and more that can be detected early and treated appropriately.
Apart from this, some habits also need the attention of a dentist because some habits can hamper oral health. These habits are:
- Sucking of the Thumb
Sucking on their thumbs is a common habit for infants, who may do so to relieve boredom, hunger, or exhaustion. However, if thumb sucking is continued past the age of four or five, it can be detrimental to the development of permanent teeth. Additionally, it may be accompanied by lip sucking. The teeth and jaw can become misaligned, resulting in an overbite.
Incorrectly positioned teeth can cause jaw pain and temporomandibular joint disorders, gum disease, and tooth decay. Some ways to break this habit are using fun methods such as cartoons, bitter nail polish, finger guards, and rewards to teach the child about the dangers of prolonged thumb sucking.
- Syndrome of the Nursing Bottle
Infants who fall asleep with baby bottles containing sugary liquids such as juices or milk in their mouths are at risk of developing tooth decay. Bacteria accumulate in the mouth due to sugar and leftover food, resulting in erosion and plaque formation. In the absence of treatment, pain, discomfort, and permanently crooked teeth result.
Early warning signs include white spots and cavities. Ascertain that your child does not fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water in their mouth, avoid frequent contact with sugar, and avoid dipping the pacifier in liquids such as honey.
Genetic factors may contribute to the development of misaligned teeth. Crowded and crooked teeth can crossbite, preventing food from being chewed properly. Additionally, it causes pain, speech difficulties, difficulty breathing, and inner cheek biting.
Malocclusion can also cause problems such as infections, tooth decay, and tooth loss by making it more difficult to clean the surfaces of the teeth effectively.
Orthodontists may use orthodontic appliances such as braces and retainers to realign teeth. It is recommended to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing twice daily, flossing, using fluoride products, gargling after having sugary food, and scheduling regular dental visits.
How to care for your child’s teeth?
- The sooner you can begin focusing on tooth brushing for children, the sooner it will develop into a long-term habit.
- You can gently brush your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears, usually around six months. Gently wipe the gums with a soft, damp cloth and, once a few teeth are present, replace the fabric with a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles.
- Brush your teeth and gums twice a day, once in the morning and before bed. Family members must refrain from sharing toothbrushes.
- Use a small pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on children over 18 months and up to 5 years. When children are six years old and older, they can use regular strength toothpaste.
- Brush all sides of each tooth and the gums using small circular motions. Brush in a back-and-forth motion across all chewing surfaces. Fluoride in toothpaste aids in tooth decay prevention. After brushing, children should spit out, not swallow or rinse.
While it is important to encourage children to brush their teeth, they lack the manual dexterity and skill necessary to use a toothbrush until they reach 7 or 8 properly. Therefore, it is recommended to supervise and assist children in brushing and flossing their teeth until they reach the age of eight.
If you need any dental assistance for your child’s oral health then contact us to book an appointment with our pediatrician.