There’s no doubt about it that childrens dentistry is hugely important to the overall well being of your child or children. After all, childrens dentistry helps to set a foundation of good oral health from a young age, so that they are more likely to grow up not only with teeth in good condition, but with the ability to keep their teeth in the same shape – or similar – for the rest of their lives. But there is so much that people do not know about general oral hygiene and childrens dentistry in particular – and so much to learn. For instance, did you know that – unless you have been specifically recommended by a dental professional to do so – you should never give your child fluoride toothpaste until they are over the age of two? It is these things, the small components and the large ones of dental care, that make visiting a pediatric dentist office for a pediatric dentist exam so important and even crucial.
Poor oral health is far too common among many children all throughout the United States and can indicate a lack of childrens dentistry and dental care. In fact, it is estimated that as many as one out of every five children – twenty percent of all children all throughout the country – do not visit a pediatric dentist office often and go without regular dental care. As any dental pediatrician will recommend professional teeth cleanings and examinations at least every six months (continuing on into adulthood and for the rest of their lives), this is worrisome. And it is having a profoundly negative effect on the teeth of children everywhere. In fact, the lack of childrens dentistry for many children leads to a number of oral and dental problems.
Cavities are particularly popular, with as many as forty percent of America’s children experiencing at least one cavity – if not even more than one – by the time they are entering kindergarten at only four or five years of age. And many of these cavities go untreated, with nearly twenty percent of all children who are between the ages of two and nineteen currently experiencing at least one untreated cavity and oftentimes more than one at a time. Of the of children between the ages of two and eleven, more than forty percent have had a cavity, and these cavities have been found to primarily effect primary teeth, or baby teeth, as they are commonly and colloquially known. On top of poor dental care and a lack of childrens dentistry, injuries that effect the mouth and oral health and often involve the teeth are also common, particularly among the children that play sports. It is estimated that as many as nearly forty percent of all dental injuries seen by a dentist who specializes in childrens dentistry are injury related and sports related.
Fortunately, good oral health is possible if childrens dentistry is introduced early. Though many people don’t realize this, regular dental visits should start for children shortly after they have their first birthday. And though toothpaste should not be used, emerging and budding teeth should be lightly cleaned with a wet washcloth or small toothbrush, whichever the child tolerates the best and most easily. Starting so young will not only help to ensure the health of their teeth, but will help to instill in them good oral hygiene habits from the get go.
Dental hygiene is hugely important – and childrens dentistry is crucial to the practice of good dental and oral hygiene and the development of healthy teeth. From baby teeth to permanent teeth, all types of teeth are important and should be cared for properly as soon as they make their appearance in the world. Unfortunately, too many children go without the adequate dental care, as has been observed by the field of childrens dentistry. These children are not only more likely to develop cavities and other dental problems in their baby, or primary, teeth, but they are also likely to have lifelong problems and concerns about their teeth, even after all of their adult teeth fully grow in. Dental care should be started young and reinforced.