The Importance of Regular Dental Visits for Children

Regular dental care is important for everyone, even the youngest of children. This is why it is important for parents to regularly provide their children pediatric dental services.

The Early Development of Dental Disease

Infants can actually contract oral disease from their mothers. Subsequently, cavities can develop in the first teeth that begin to appear about six months after birth and in permanent teeth that will later appear. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood health problems in the United States, more so than recognized diseases such as asthma and allergies. According to figures from the NIH, dental problems are responsible for the loss of 51 million educational hours every year. Some children may be more susceptible to dental disease than others. Indications of trouble include the development of white spots on a child’s teeth, or of dark spots or actual holes in them. Decay is also more prevalent among children whose parents or adult guardians have dental problems.

The Need for Pediatric Dentists

These specialists care for patients that range from infants to teenagers. In addition to their regular training, a pediatric dentist must obtain experience in dealing with children or those who require special attention. Among other services, they will conduct regular examinations and provide routine treatments, including the cleaning of teeth and the filling of cavities. They also offer assistance that differs from other dentists, such as counseling on the childhood habit of thumb sucking, which can cause dental problems. Pediatric dentists must also consider the future of their patients by assessing such issues as misaligned teeth and improper bites. Perhaps most important is the way these specialists care for their patients. Children may not be as cooperative or as understanding of their own problems. They need to be made comfortable and to realize the importance of the care they are receiving. Pediatric dentists will thus combine their personal techniques with equipment that is compatible with the needs of their patients.

Why Children Need Regular Dental Care

In addition to correcting problems and preventing future tooth and gum ailments, dental visits in the early years of life create healthy attitudes among children and can lead to a lifetime of good oral care. This alone is a good reason for parents to seek the services of a pediatric dentist.