Taking care of your teeth is just like taking care of any other part of your body – totally crucial, and taking good care of your teeth can help you to avoid the need for further dental work in the future. This is why oral hygiene for kids is so important, and pediatric dental care and dental work should be begun as soon as possible in your child’s life. In fact, it is even recommended that children begin to see a dentist as soon as their baby teeth come in, often shortly before or after their first birthday. Getting pediatric dental care and dental work can help set them up with healthy dental care habits for the rest of their lives, preventing and often mitigating the need for more extensive dental care and dental work, as well as complicated and expensive (and often painful) dental procedures down the line in their lives. And a pediatric dental exam will also help to get them used to the process of going to the dentist, preventing a fear of the dentist from ever developing as well as mitigating the need for extensive dental work.
Unfortunately, far too many children go without the recommended dental care, all too often leading to the need for extensive dental work at a very young age. In fact, as many as twenty percent of all kids currently living in the United States do not receive regular dental care as is recommended, and this can lead to a number of consequences such as extensive dental work among a number of others. For one, cavities in children are more prevalent than ever before and will require dental work and fillings to be adequately treated on a long term basis. By the time that kids reach the age where they will begin to attend kindergarten, as many as forty percent of them have already had at least one cavity, if not even more than that. And tooth decay in general has become increasingly common among the population of children in the United States, as much as twenty times more likely to happen to your child than other detrimental conditions such as the onset of childhood diabetes as well as five times more likely to occur than the diagnosis of childhood asthma. This means that the lack of dental care can have a direct impact on your child’s overall oral health, which can actually impact their performance at school. This is because poor oral health and the subsequent tooth decay that all too often follows can cause a great deal of pain in children and adults alike – and can lead children with tooth decay problems to miss school three times as much as the children who have received the proper and recommended dental care. In fact, all across the country of the United States more than fifty million hours of school time are lost on an annual basis strictly because of dental issues and the dental pain that often follows the development of such oral health concerns and problems.
Fortunately, such dental problems are highly preventable with the implementation of the proper dental care and dental work from a very young age – even before your child has teeth, or at least right after the teeth begin to poke through, even if there are only just a few of them for the time being. Instead of a toothbrush, which your baby is likely to dislike initially, you can use a washcloth to clean their teeth gently, as this will more likely be tolerated by your child. However, it is important that you do not use toothpaste that contains fluoride until your child reaches the age of two, after which fluoride toothpaste can have a number of benefits. Up until that point, however, consider using a training toothpaste specifically designed for infants and young toddlers, which is safe when swallowed and does not contain the ingredient of fluoride.
Dental care and dental work are hugely important no matter where you go in the United States and no matter how old you are, from the youngest of babies to the oldest people living among us.