Can you believe that there’s only 2 weeks left of the school holidays? How time flies! This is the time when children feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety at the thought of starting school and being away from home, while older children too have mixed emotions. While you’ve probably been busy kitting out the kids with new school uniform, shoes, and bags, there’s every chance that the thought of a dental check-up may have slipped your mind.
1 in 4 children have tooth decay when they start school
Healthy teeth and a healthy mouth isn’t just important to dental health it also affects a child’s general well being. Tooth decay can cause pain, affect a child’s concentration, and generally impact on their development and readiness for school.
Were you aware that tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting youngsters in England, and for the most part it’s easily preventable? Recent figures reveal that nearly a quarter of children aged 5 suffer with decaying teeth, meaning that when they start school, one in four children will have tooth decay, and on average those children will have 3 to 4 teeth that are affected. That’s pretty awful, isn’t it?
Why dental check-ups are so important for children
Dental checks are crucial to maintaining the health of your children, no matter what age they are. They should begin as soon as your child develops his or her first tooth, and certainly by the time they reach the age of one.
There are a number of reasons that good dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups are so important, especially for young children, so let’s take a closer look:
Helps prevent tooth decay and cavities
Attending regular dental check-ups and hygiene visits can lower the risk of tooth decay, which is what causes tooth cavities. Since a young child hasn’t fully mastered the art of brushing and flossing, your dentist can help by removing any plaque and food debris that may be stuck in their teeth. Plaque contains harmful bacteria and if this isn’t removed it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. As a top tip – try making a visit to the dentist fun for your child, ending with a tooth-friendly reward.
Can avoid the need for orthodontic work
It’s important for a child to keep their baby or primary teeth for as long as possible as premature loss can mean their remaining teeth shift position and their adult teeth are more likely to grow in crooked or misaligned. If permanent teeth are able to grow in straighter because of healthy primary teeth, it may avoid the need for orthodontic work in the future.
Children with healthy primary teeth find it easier to chew their food and retain nutrients, are able to smile with confidence, and learn to speak clearly. If your dentist spots the early signs of tooth decay they can apply sealants and fluorides to help prevent further spread.
Teaches good oral hygiene
Regular dental check-ups teach children how to properly care for their teeth and gives them the knowledge and motivation to carry this on through their adult lives. When parents explain the purpose of a dental check up, it teaches their child the importance of visiting the dentist on a regular basis. If children are shown at an early age how to care for their teeth, they’ll be able to pass this information on to their own children when the time comes. Many parents fail to understand the importance of caring for baby teeth but by learning first hand, it increases the chances that their children will grow up and be more mindful about caring for their own children’s teeth too.
If you child is overdue a dental check-up then why not schedule an appointment with the child friendly team at 44 Dental. Give us a call today on 0116 2519647 and make sure your child starts school with happy smile and healthy teeth.Share