If you think that periodic visits to the dentist are less important for kids than they are for adults, think again. The proper dental care and counseling can make all the difference in a child's dental development, eating or speech skills, and future wellness. Here are three important services that your pediatric dental clinic can provide to help your children thrive.
1. Checkups and Cleanings
Baby teeth may be temporary in nature, but that doesn't make their health any less important. These teeth can develop cavities and painful internal decay just as readily as their permanent counterparts — and oral infections can spread from the tooth structures to other parts of the body. That's why children should have their first dental checkup once they get their first tooth or at the age of 1 year, whichever comes first. Your pediatric dentist will make sure that the tooth is healthy, perform any necessary treatment if it isn't, and check the alignment of baby teeth in relation to the permanent teeth behind them. Gentle cleaning will ensure that your baby's first teeth can remain as healthy as possible between dental visits.
Everyone has two tiny connective tissues that connect the lips to the bottom and top of the mouth. You can easily see and feel the bottom tissue, the lingual frenum, connecting the tongue to the space behind the lower teeth; another frenum, the maxillary frenum, performs the same task for the upper lip. in some children, these tissues can be either too tight or too thick to permit normal breastfeeding, eating, or speech. Your pediatric dental clinic may recommend a simple laser procedure called a frenectomy to resolve this problem. A surgical laser disconnects the upper or lower frenum, improving the lower or upper lip's range of motion.
3. Self-Care Counseling
It's never too early to teach a child good dental hygiene and nutritional habits; in fact, the earlier you start your children on this path, the more easily and naturally they will take to it. Your pediatric dentist can teach your kids the importance of daily dental care and show them how to brush and floss correctly. At the same time, you'll receive valuable instruction on which foods or drinks promote dental problems — and which of them actually support dental health. You can then incorporate this knowledge into your grocery shopping so you can provide healthy snacks and meals for your whole family. You might even find that your kids prefer these items to super-sweet, sugar-laden alternatives.
Pediatric dental care is just as important to your child's well-being as pediatric eye care or family medical care. Take it seriously, starting today, by scheduling any necessary exams or treatments at your local pediatric dental clinic.