Your child’s teeth play a crucial role in their long-term health and wellbeing. The earlier they begin to understand the importance of taking care of their teeth, the more likely they are to develop healthy oral hygiene habits which they will take with them into adulthood. Aside from you, your pediatric dentist will be your child’s biggest oral health advocate and regular pediatric dental care will be an essential part of this support. Your pediatric dentist will ask your child to attend scheduled appointments which will help them to monitor the health, condition, and development of their teeth.
Pediatric dental care will help protect your child from decay and gum disease
Unsurprisingly, two of the most common dental problems which can potentially affect anyone, including your child, are decay and gum disease. Decay occurs when the sugars in food and drink interact with bacteria in the mouth to produce acids that erode the teeth, revealing the sensitive inner layers, causing pain and infection in the root that can lead to tooth loss. Meanwhile, gum disease is the result of plaque that forms on the teeth moving onto the gums, triggering irritation, and infection to occur. Left to progress, your child will experience a wide range of unpleasant symptoms and irreversible damage to their teeth.
Preventing gum disease will support your child’s long-term health
Studies have shown that patients who experience moderate to severe gum disease – which is known as periodontitis – could be more likely to go on to develop serious health conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, stroke, dementia, and more. Pediatric dental care will help prevent gum disease and reduce your child’s risk of chronic illness in the future.
Early orthodontic referrals
Many people believe that straightening the teeth and dealing with bite problems are purely done for cosmetic reasons. However, orthodontics also plays a key role in the health of your child’s teeth. This is because teeth that aren’t properly aligned are more likely to be affected by dental problems including decay, gum disease, uneven pressure resulting in fractures and temporomandibular joint disorder, and more. Your pediatric dentist will be able to tell fairly early if your child is likely to need orthodontic treatment and can arrange for prompt referral to minimize the risk to their oral health.
Confidence in their smile
Every parent wants their child to feel happy and confident in their appearance. The teeth are one of the main aspects of their appearance that many adults would like to change. However, by teaching your child good dental habits and ensuring that they receive proper pediatric dental care, you can help them to love their smile from an early age.
What is involved in pediatric dental care?
Pediatric dental care involves many of the same services and treatments that are offered to adults. However, since children’s teeth are still developing and their jaw is still growing, there are also some elements to pediatric dental care that are specific to young people. Exactly what your pediatric dentist offers may vary, but typically patients can expect to see services including:
- Regular monitoring appointments (which include family block bookings)
- Professional cleaning
- Risk assessments for cavities and gum disease
- Repairs or restorations
- Fluoride treatments, which help to strengthen your child’s teeth
- Dental sealants, which protect your child’s teeth from decay
- Support with behaviors and habits which could impact your child’s teeth, such as prolonged use of a bottle or pacifier, thumb-sucking, and grinding
- Help to teach your child the importance of taking care of their teeth
- Advice on nutrition to support your child’s dental health
- Early identification and support for orthodontic issues, including referral for treatment
- Treatment for childhood dental issues such as retained baby teeth or failed eruptions