From that first baby tooth to a full set of adult teeth, regular dental cleaning and exams for kids is a must for promoting a lifetime of good oral care habits. And it goes without saying that an expert pediatric dentist is an invaluable partner in maintaining your little one’s smile. That said, we at Oak Tree Pediatric Dentistry want to share five reasons you shouldn’t skip your kids’ teeth cleaning appointments and exams.
Regular dental cleanings help prevent tooth decay, cavities and gingivitis. You might be surprised to know that cavities, caused by tooth decay, are the #1 preventable childhood disease. In fact, the CDC found that 42% of kids ages 2-11 have had at least one cavity in a baby tooth, and 21% of kids between ages 6-11 have had at least one cavity in an adult tooth.
Regular dental cleanings help prevent cavities and gingivitis (gum disease) for kids because a pediatric dentist can identify and advise parents on minimizing risk factors for cavities and gingivitis. If left on teeth, plaque can cause tooth decay and the hardened form of plaque — tartar — which can cause gum disease. Dr. Jon Chay, Dr. Martha Hendrix and the Oak Tree team use professional tools to remove plaque and tartar, leaving your child with a squeaky-clean smile.
Fluoride varnish, high-fluoride prescription toothpaste and dental sealants are other parts of our armamentarium to help prevent dental caries and gingivitis. These can be especially helpful if your child is at a higher risk of developing cavities.
Simply put, professional cleanings help catch little problems before they become big ones. We suggest coming in for your children’s dental cleanings and exams every six months to make sure you keep tartar and plaque away.
When Should A First Dental Cleaning Happen?
At this point you might be wondering, “What is the recommended age for a first dental cleaning?” According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should schedule a child’s first dental exam when those first baby teeth appear, or by age one. Here at Oak Tree Pediatric Dentistry, we are big believers in preventative oral care right from the start. The first dental visit, even an early dental check up for babies, is all about education and establishing good oral hygiene and diet habits. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
2. Early Diagnosis
You don’t want to skip your kids’ dental exams because dentists like Dr. Chay and Dr. Hendrix have the expertise to identify tooth decay or other issues, even at the earliest stages. It’s not easy for parents to spot dental concerns unless there’s obvious signs, like your child complaining of pain in their teeth or they have trouble chewing.
At Oak Tree, our dental expertise is aided by pain-free and safe digital technology to see what goes undetected by the naked eye. Catching dental problems at a check up allows us to address them early, quickly and easily, and when they’re less severe or expensive to fix.
3. Establishing Good Oral Care Habits
As a parent, you know that kids need repetition and routine to make any good habit second nature. So is the case for dental care. Twice-annual visits for your kids’ dental cleaning year after year shows your kids that good oral care is an important part of their well-being.
With us, your child gets gentle, interactive care that ensures they feel safe and comfortable. We understand that some kids get anxious about the dentist so visits at Oak Tree are set up to ease our patients’ fears by engaging and including them as active participants. At dental cleanings, we let our patients guide the process, and show them all the instruments we’ll be using, demonstrate how they work and explain exactly what we do for each step.
Regular dental cleanings in childhood establish a pattern of positivity towards oral care that carries on into adulthood. That’s why we invest a lot of time and care into our patients’ dental health, building a trust with the dentist that will continue once they fly the nest.
4. You Learn Oral Care Best Practices at a Kids Dental Exam
A dental check up is an excellent time for kids (and parents!) to learn best practices for oral care at home. Education is a big part of our approach and we’re happy to answer all your questions. We also provide diet counseling and oral hygiene tips to help little ones and their parents learn how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. And we meet you where you’re at — whether you have a baby with a gummy smile, a toddler with a toothy grin, or a school-aged kid with a mix of baby and adult teeth; we offer personalized guidance for your child’s stage of oral development.
5. Dental Check Ups Allow Us To Monitor Your Child’s Oral Development
Visiting the dentist every six months helps us all keep tabs on your little one’s dental growth and development. At a check up, Dr. Chay and Dr. Hendrix can get a closer view of your child’s teeth and gums, allowing them to:
- Note any issues that have come up since the last visit
- See how well your at-home oral hygiene routine is doing
- Provide you with personalized recommendations for any concerns that have come up
- Evaluate the development of your child’s teeth and jaws
- Foresee what might need attention in the coming years, including but not limited to orthodontic care
Schedule Your Child’s Teeth Cleaning With Your Greenville Pediatric Dentist Today
There you have it! Five reasons not to skip your child’s dental cleanings and exams. So if you’re a Greenville parent thinking, “I’m looking for trusted dental exams for my kids near me,” get in touch with us for comprehensive, comfortable dental care. We’re all about helping little ones get the bright, healthy smiles they deserve and have fun in the process.
Contact us today to make an appointment at our warm and welcoming pediatric dentistry office on Pelham Rd.