As summer comes to a close, it’s time to dust off the backpacks and get the kids ready for another year. But before that bell rings, don’t forget to tend to your child’s dental health needs. Now is the time to ensure their mouth is in great shape for a healthy school year.
Cavities are, unfortunately, common in children. Their love of sweet foods and drinks combined with sometimes lacking dental hygiene sets up a perfect environment for tooth decay. Children should have their teeth examined for weak spots and decay every six months, and x-rays are typically done about once a year.
Cavities should be filled in their early stages to preserve the health of the tooth and correct the issue before it gets worse. Cavities can be painful, and a toothache is no way to start off the school year!
Gums are just as important to your child’s dental health as teeth. Gums are the foundation of a healthy mouth, so they need the same care and attention in mouths of all ages.
Children and teens aren’t always the most diligent about flossing, which is the best thing they can do for their gums each day. To help them get into the habit, consider fun flossers designed for kids or try the dental picks or small interdental brushes sold at many stores. And, your child’s dentist will check for gum problems at each visit, to help detect problems before they become serious.
Many children can benefit from fluoride treatments given at the dentist’s office. Fluoride helps prevent cavities, but it must be done correctly by a skilled dentist for optimal results. A dentist who is experienced in caring for children’s teeth can recommend the right dose of fluoride for your child without giving too much.
Examining the Bite
Misalignment of the teeth can begin in childhood, and some children may benefit from seeing an orthodontist as early as age 7. Fortunately, most bite problems are easily corrected with the help of your child’s dentist and orthodontic team. Your dentist will be on the lookout for potential issues with bite or teeth misalignment, and will discuss any issues with you.
For teenagers, the third molars, or wisdom teeth, should be checked at dental exams. These typically start to erupt in the late teen years. Some young people are able to keep these teeth without problems. Others, however, may need them removed due to crowding, infection, impaction, or other complications.
A dental exam is much more than just a cleaning. Ensure that your child’s school year gets off to a great start with a healthy mouth. Contact the office of Dr. Craig Armstrong to schedule your child’s back-to-school checkup today!