Early Dental Care among Children: Why is it Essential

Early Dental Care among Children: Why is it Essential

Jun 01, 2021

Early dental care among children is essential to establish and maintain optimal oral health in them. It is why the need to provide regular dental care from infancy from a pediatric dentist is vital for parents and caregivers. The care the child receives must continue through adolescence and into adulthood.

The American Academy of pediatric dentistry visualizes “optimum oral health for all children,” serving as a valuable resource for the kid’s dentist and hygienists looking for information on early treatment of the child. The AAPD recommends a child’s first visit to the children’s dental Center must be on the eruption of their first tooth and no later than their first birthday.

The first visit of the child to children’s dentistry helps establish a dental home to develop an ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient. The treatments they receive include all aspects of oral healthcare delivered comprehensively in a family-centered way. Continuity of care is a crucial element of a dental home which is why it is essential for parents to take their child frequently for routine exams and cleanings besides visiting the dentist when an emergent situation arises.

How Do Visits to Children’s Dentistry, Early Help the Child?

Early dental visits to a kid’s dentist focus on prevention and education. During dental exams on young patients below three years, the dentist conducts a comprehensive oral exam and cleaning besides providing topical fluoride if required. Dental caries risk assessments are also determined by evaluating the child’s risk for decay and developing preventive strategies.

Parents receive information on all the child’s dental development besides the milestones the child should reach as they grow and mature. Subjects such as tooth eruption, oral hygiene, oral and dietary habits are explicitly discussed related to the patient’s age. Parents receive information on how they must care for any trauma if and when it occurs with their child.

As the child grows older, the exams incorporate x-rays and age-related topics such as tobacco and smoking, athletic mouth guards, and complicated diet discussions.

Why Begin Early Visits to a Pediatric Dentist?

When parents begin early visits to a pediatric dentist, the professionals start educating them on the child’s oral health and reducing the chances of any diseases. Furthermore, determining the child’s risk for dental caries allows the dentist to detect tooth decay early, preventing the need for extensive treatment. The education parents receive helps them create and maintain proper dental hygiene habits for their child.

Additionally, when the pediatric dentists determine the child’s risk for dental caries, they develop a comprehensive caries prevention plan to prevent children from developing tooth decay as they mature. The program includes:

  • Fluoride supplements.
  • More frequent exams for cleanings.
  • Dietary modifications helping lower the risk of patient caries risk.
  • Preventing the development of early childhood caries.

When tooth decay is left untreated, it progresses to early childhood caries, making it essential for parents to establish a dental home for their child. The definition of early childhood caries is the presence of one or more decayed or filled tooth surfaces in the primary teeth of the child.

Early childhood caries results in missed school days, emergency room visits or hospitalizations, challenges with learning, and diminished oral health quality of life. The expenses of restoring the child’s teeth with early childhood caries are significant, especially when they need extensive treatment. Children must receive general anesthesia to complete any dental procedures they need effectively. There are associated risks with general anesthesia for everyone and a child is not an exception. Early visits to a pediatric dentist help parents learn about the risks and benefits of preventing any oral health issues with their child that may require extensive treatment under general anesthesia.

Actions Parents Must Take for Their Child’s Oral Health

Parents must find a dental home for their child by age one. The dental home enables the child to receive examinations for early caries risk determined by the pediatric dentist on time. The effort by parents helps practitioners to begin imparting the education parents need on the benefits of excellent oral health. When parents minimize the risks of dental caries early, they create good oral health practices preventing the need for costly treatments later. Studies have established that poor oral health leads to poor oral health besides the lack of performance in school. Early visits to children’s dentistry help create a happy, healthy, and prosperous child.

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