Did you know that in 1,800 BC, the Code of Hammurabi listed dental extraction as a form of punishment for those who disobeyed the law? Today, visiting the dentist does not have to be painful. In fact, if you are a child, visiting the dentist can even be fun. Most offices that specialize in child dental care offer books and toys to play with, as well as friendly dentists. Here are three things you should know about child dental care.
1. Cleaning and Check Up
Most dentists recommend that children visit once or twice a year. During this check up, there will be an examination of not only the teeth, but the bite and gums as well in order to monitor ongoing development as the child grows. Gentle cleanings will usually occur, in which case the teeth are polished and the dentist will remove plaque and tartar buildup. Sometimes children receive fluoride treatment, which is typically administered as a foam that comes in fun flavors and has to sit in the mouth for a minute.
2. Cavity Removal
Unfortunately, cavities happen. Over four million preschoolers alone have tooth decay, and this number has increased over the past decade owing to higher levels of sugar in the average child diet. Though good child dental care is important for preventing them, research shows that only a fourth of two year olds have visited the dentist. If your dentist suspects your child has a cavity, they will take an xray and, if necessary, set up an appointment for removal. Children then go under local anesthesia and the cavity is removed and filled. If the cavity is too large, total extraction might prove necessary.
3. The Cost of Dental Care
Sometimes the reason people do not bring their child to the dentist is, they are afraid of the cost. With insurance, you either pay nothing or the low price of a co pay. A typical co pay for a standard dental teeth cleaning is 25 dollars. Dental care without insurance might cost 75 dollars or more per visit. Unfortunately, the cost of teeth cleaning will only go up if you avoid regular visits. If cavities are allowed to grow and spread, treating them becomes more and more expensive. Even though child cavities often occur in baby teeth, baby teeth are place holders for permanent teeth. Extracting them early can cause spacing problems later on.
You can sometimes get free teeth cleaning from dental hygienist schools, so call and ask if this might be an appealing option.