According to the College of Dentistry, lack of preventative dental care for children is the most common unmet health need in children in the United States. In fact, a child is seven times more likely to have untreated cavities than untreated seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, untreated dental health issues in children can lead to mouth pain, prematurely lost baby teeth, and difficulty speaking and chewing.
Baby Teeth Are Essential For Proper Chewing And Speaking
Baby teeth start erupting around six months of age, starting with the central incisor. This is also around the time some babies will say their first word(s), which usually occurs between the ages of 7 and 14 months, and it is a time when you will start introducing your baby to solid foods. As the teeth erupt, your baby will learn to use them to chew food. They are also essential for the proper formation of words. When teeth erupt incorrectly, develop cavities, or have to be prematurely extracted due to tooth decay, it can lead to difficulty speaking and chewing.
At this time, you should schedule your new baby’s first dental visit to check the development of the jaw and mouth. After the first dental visit, you should schedule dental checkups about once a year until your child enters preschool. At five years of age, our dentist in Clermont recommends dental visits every six months to ensure the teeth are erupting properly and the jawbones are developing normally.
Baby Teeth Are Important For The Eruption Of The Adult Teeth
Your child’s baby teeth provide the pathway for the adult teeth. The adult teeth develop in the jaw under the baby teeth, and they erupt along the same pathways. This helps ensure your child’s adult teeth are properly aligned. When children lose their baby teeth prematurely, the adult teeth may erupt crooked or misaligned, resulting in the need for braces as a teenager.
Cavities And Tooth Pain Can Lead To Missed School Days
Children with cavities and mouth pain who do not receive proper oral care are three times more likely to miss school due to the pain and the need for emergency dental treatments. This can lead to your child falling behind in his or her classes and even result in getting bad grades. Thankfully, getting timely oral care can keep cavities at bay so that your child can concentrate on learning.
Children Who Learn Proper Oral Hygiene Habits Early In Life Are More Likely To Maintain Those Habits In Adulthood
Children who are taught how to properly brush and floss their teeth from a young age are more likely to carry those habits into adulthood. To develop good oral habits, our local dentist recommends starting early. When your child is a baby, you can simply wipe the gums and first few teeth with a damp cloth. Once the teeth are touching, you can use age-appropriate toothpastes and toothbrushes to brush your baby’s teeth. Once your child reaches three to four years of age, you can start showing them how to brush their teeth. By the time your child is seven, he or she should be able to brush and floss their teeth with minimal supervision.
Getting Early Dental Treatment Can Reduce Long Term Dental Healthcare Costs
It is estimated that each dollar spent on preventative dental care services can save as much as $50 in long term dental costs, according to the College of Dentistry. This is because finding signs of cavities and gum disease early means that less costly and invasive treatments are needed to restore the health of the mouth.
Early Dental Treatment With Our Clermont Dentist Can Reduce The Need For Braces As A Teenager
When your child receives early preventative dental care, minor issues can be fixed while your child’s jaw and teeth are still developing. This means that if there isn’t enough space in the jaw or your child is developing an over, under, or cross-bite, orthodontic appliances can be used to correct these problems at an early age when less invasive and timely treatments can be used. As a result, your child may not need braces as a teenager, or if your child does need braces, correcting the alignment problems takes less time.
At Hancock Village Dental, we start seeing children at the age of eight, although we recommend you take your child to a pediatric dentist much sooner. To schedule your child’s next pediatric dental appointment with our Clermont dentist, contact us a call at 352-989-5815.