What Parents Need to Know About Pediatric Dentistry
Most kids aren’t too excited about going to the dentist. As family and pediatric dentists, we understand that coming into the dentist’s office for a cleaning or to get a cavity filled can be hard for kids. We do our best to make the experience positive and as painless as possible, because a child that learns the importance of good dental health is set up for a healthier life in the coming years of their lives.
A lot of people mistakenly think that because kids have deciduous teeth, commonly referred to as baby teeth, they don’t have to practice good dental hygiene. We sometimes think the getting our kids to brush their teeth is more hassle than it’s worth, but this kind of thinking is more detrimental than we might realize.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), childhood caries, also known as cavities, are five times more common in children than asthma; 4 times more common than early childhood obesity and twenty times more common than diabetes. Sadly, the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation report that dental care is the most unmet health need for children in the US. Simply put, tooth decay and cavities are the most prevalent chronic disease in children and adults in the United States.
Cavities and tooth decay can cause problems that a simple filling can’t fix.
Early childhood caries can affect children beyond the occasional toothache. It increases the risk for infection in the mouth and throughout the rest of the body; it can negatively affect speech and communication, dietary habits, sleeping, learning, playing and quality of life well into a child’s adult years.
The best way to treat tooth decay and dental caries is to prevent them from happening in the first place. We know that children who visit the dentist in their early years, have a greater likelihood of avoiding the negative consequences associated with tooth decay and poor dental health. Regular visits to the dentist can help establish good habits and nip any potential problems in the bud.
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