This month is National Children’s Dental Health Month! So, what does that mean to you? It’s an affirmation that those bi-annual dental visits aren’t just to help meet your deductible. You and your child[ren] need these visits to develop lifelong healthy dental habits.
Finding and retaining a pediatric dentist you and your child not only respect, but enjoy, is extremely important. When you both trust and respect your dentist, it creates a more positive experience for all parties, and results in a higher success rate of developing healthy dental habits.
A common feeling about pediatric dentistry is “What’s the point? They’re going to lose them anyway.” Primary teeth serve a number of critical functions:
- They affect your child’s speech development.
- They allow for a healthy diet and proper nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly.
- They help preserve the space between permanent teeth.
When should your children start their regularly scheduled dentistry visits?
- Between when the first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday.
- A program of preventative health care including diet, brushing, flossing and the importance of florides.
- A caries risk assessment. Dental caries are another term for cavities.
- Information on how inappropriate nursing habits, pacifiers, sippy cups and sucking one’s thumb or fingers can affect your child’s dental development.
- General information about oral health care and tooth development as your child grows.
If your child is an adolescent with seemingly spotless dental hygiene, dental check-ups are still a necessity. The adolescent time period is a very transitional point in life; appearance and self-image are very important at this stage. Decaying teeth, under or over-bites, and poorly positioned teeth can have serious effects on your child’s self esteem. It is also to be mentioned that pre-teens and teens tend to have a poor diet, resulting in a higher number of cavities. While today’s youth are lucky enough to have missed amalgam fillings (the silver ones most of us have at least one of), a cavity is not something one goes bragging about to their friends. It’s never too late to start healthy habits.
We’ve compiled a list of local dentists and orthodontist to assist you in finding the right one for you and your family. To be noted, should you have insurance be sure to ask beforehand if your chosen dentist or orthodontist is covered in your network. If you do not have insurance, do not be discouraged. Many dentists have programs to assist you in the betterment of your child’s health.
For a list of dentist in our area, check our Advertisers Directory on page 70 of this month’s Around Woodstock.