Even though your child will eventually lose their primary teeth, regular dental cleanings every six months are recommended by the American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA). The reason? Regular preventative dental visits include not only cleanings, but also include a comprehensive oral exam and evaluation, which can prevent problems from developing, or stop small problems from becoming larger, more involved, and potentially more expensive problems later. Here’s why it’s so important for kids to see a dentist twice a year.
Dental Visits for Kids Can Prevent Cavities
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that preventative care such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants can prevent nearly all cavities. Fluoride treatments help to strengthen the enamel on children’s teeth, making them less likely to develop tooth decay. Tooth decay results when bacteria in the mouth interact with foods (especially sugar) and produce acid. Acid can eat through the enamel of teeth resulting in dental caries (cavities). Fluoride treatments take just a few minutes and are completely painless for your child.
Dental sealants are also incredibly effective as a preventative treatment. Dental sealants are most often used on the back molars, which tend to have deep grooves and crevices on the chewing surface. These deep grooves and crevices make it easier for bacteria to accumulate, leading to tooth decay. Dental sealants are a painless preventative treatment that can eliminate the need for fillings to treat cavities.
Regular Dental Appointments for Kids Remove Plaque
Even children who have excellent brushing and flossing habits, won’t be able to remove all of the plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) that constantly builds up in the mouth. Adults aren’t able to remove it either! But your dentist can remove this plaque, particularly the plaque that builds up between crowded teeth, overlapping teeth, or beneath the gum line.
When children don’t have this plaque removed, it can lead to the development of cavities and gum disease. Both conditions are more costly to treat than preventing them in the first place.
Pediatric Dentists Prioritize Education
Pediatric dentists also provide invaluable education to your children about the importance of achieving and maintaining good oral health. From showing your child the different dental tools to digital dental x-rays to proper techniques for brushing and flossing, your child will receive the education they need to lay an excellent foundation for good oral health.
Avoiding Problems Later in Life
Pediatric dentists who also offer early orthodontics can ensure that your child has the space in their mouth that they need to accommodate permanent teeth. For children who have lost their baby teeth early, a space maintainer may be necessary to save space for the adult teeth to properly erupt. Likewise, if your child has a habit such as thumb or finger sucking, or tongue thrusting, custom oral appliances can be made to help your child break habits that cause alignment and bite problems later in life.
Pediatric Care for All Kids in Brooklyn
At A&R Advanced Dental Group, Dr. Liza Idelchik provides comprehensive pediatric dental care to infants, toddlers, adolescents, and teenagers. Safe laughing gas sedation is available for children who have difficulty sitting still, children with special needs, or those who are fearful of dental care. As one of NY’s most respected and awarded pediatric dentists, Dr. Idelchik is here to help you set your child up for a lifetime of good health. Send us a message or call 718-376-1666 to schedule an appointment.