With Madison’s beautiful lakes and parks and countless indoor and outdoor activities for kids here in Madison, Wisconsin, visiting the dentist may not always be at the top of your child’s to-do list. But here’s a quick look at why children’s dental visits are so necessary for your child’s oral health.
Children’s dental visits are essential for:
- Preventing Tooth Decay
- Treating Decay or Other Issues
- Educating on Best Oral Hygiene Practices
Preventing Tooth Decay
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a child should have his or her first visit to the dentist before twelve months of age.
Early dental visits are so important because they help prevent cavities before they form. At these appointments, children receive regular topical fluoride treatments, which are an easy, low-cost way to prevent cavities.
Once the back teeth erupt in older children, regular dental visits will include having dental sealants placed on the back teeth. Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent tooth decay. The coating adheres to the depressions on the top of the teeth, preventing bacteria from penetrating the surface of the tooth.
Sealants have been proven to be one hundred percent effective in protecting teeth from cavities when correctly applied and intact. Sealants are extra protection for your teeth for when brushing and flossing fail to remove food and plaque from the teeth.
Treating Decay or Other Issues
Children’s dental visits are also imperative for preventing tooth decay. The CDC reported that in 2011-2012, almost twenty-three percent of children between the ages of two and five had cavities, and fifty-six percent of six-to-eight-year-olds had cavities.
Early childhood visits can tackle routine decay like cavities, as well as more serious childhood tooth decay, like baby bottle mouth disease.
Educating on Best Oral Hygiene Practices
Another reason children’s dental visits are important is because it gives the dentist and hygienist an opportunity to teach you and your child how to care for his or her teeth. The dental team will demonstrate the correct way to brush your child’s teeth and help problem-solve any issues you might have. They will also show you and your child how to floss between the teeth. Flossing should begin as early as two teeth start to touch.
Depending on your child’s age, your dentist might recommend mouthwash and counsel on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. Your dentist might also address any thumb-sucking, pacifier, or other bad oral habits that your child might have.
Early intervention can help prevent more serious tooth decay and gum issues. By establishing healthy habits now, you can set your child up for a lifetime of great dental health and happy trips to the dentist. Learn more about Teaching Proper Dental Care.
If we help you get your child’s smile off to a strong start, please contact our office today. Affiliated Dentists offers general and pediatric dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin.