…is worth a pound of cure. This saying has untold value when put in the perspective of pediatric dentistry. Preventive dentistry is invaluable when put into practice at a very early age for children. It truly does set the stage for a lifelong pattern of good oral health.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recently released results of a survey of mothers of very young children. The findings show that there is a great opportunity to educate many parents regarding the importance of implementing preventive dentistry in children. The AAPD recommends that all children make a visit to a pediatric dentist within six months of getting their first tooth or before their 1st birthday. This visit is an important step in setting the stage for good oral health care. Most parents understand how important regular visits to the pediatrician are at an early age, but its equally important to establish regular visits to the pediatric dentist at an early age.
Ninety-seven percent of the mothers surveyed in the study were not aware of the importance of taking their child to see a pediatric dentist by their first birthday. Dental decay can set in even in baby teeth. In fact, decay can progress faster in baby teeth, as they are softer than permanent teeth. Preventing decay at this stage can prevent needless pain and discomfort in young children.
In addition to preventing the pain and discomfort, early dental visits can save money. Studies show that children that have their first dental visit by age one spend 40% less on dental costs in the first five years of life as compared with children who do not establish these early dental visits.
In the same study, 78 percent of mothers agreed that they would take their children to visit a pediatric dentist before their 1st birthday if they knew that the visit would result in better oral hygiene over time.
Of course if your child does develop dental decay, the pediatric dentist can provide treatment to get your child back on track to good oral health. Its important to know though that dental treatment is not always a “cure” for tooth decay. The best way to prevent the need for relying on dental treatment is to establish good preventive oral health care practices. There is no substitute for twice daily brushing, daily flossing, fluoride rinses and twice-yearly visits to the dentist.
During a year one dental visit, pediatric dentists will examine the young patient to detect early tooth decay, determine fluoride needs and monitor proper oral and facial development.
Investing time and attention to your child’s oral health care needs, at any age, can go a long way to improving their overall health and wellness.