Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Why Regular Visits to the Dentist Are So Important for Young Kids

Some families put off taking their kids to the dentist until a cavity forms or a problem develops, like a tooth chipped during sports or games. But like other kinds of health checkups, young children should begin having routine dental checkups from an early age. Professionals recommend starting dentist visits by age two, if not earlier, for the following reasons.

Establish a Routine

Since young kids sometimes balk at going to the doctor’s office, often because of vaccinations or uncomfortable ear and throat exams, they may resist dental evaluations too. However, an early examination by the time they start school is a great way to introduce kids to a friendly dentist. Choose a dental office where children are treated with respect and consideration. It’s also good to look for offices where they entertain the kids in ways to help them relax and understand the dental procedures. Future exams will be accepted routinely as part of their health care process when you start early.

Find Problems Early

Some children have congenital dental issues like bruxism or being tongue-tied. Others have malformations in their mouth or with their teeth. These problems can be diagnosed early and treated if feasible to avoid the children becoming self-conscious at school around peers or in public. Broken, chipped, or missing teeth can be noted in the child’s dental record for follow-up treatment or future reevaluation.

Provide Dental Training

Most dental offices teach kids how to properly brush and floss their teeth as well as gargle, when appropriate. They can learn about the foods to avoid as well as those they should be eating to make their teeth strong. Children can also learn how to safeguard their teeth on the playground and during sports activities. Signs and symptoms of possible problems will be explained so that kids can let their parents know if an issue develops.

Preplan Specialized Future Treatment

Even at a young age of a child’s development, signs may emerge that eventual treatment may be needed to correct misalignment or other dental issues. Orthodontia recommendations may be made, and later, the advisability of removing wisdom teeth. Early awareness of these issues can help to inform parents so they can be planning ahead for subsequent treatment and also let the dentist know if anything changes.

Knowing ahead of time what sort of dental or orthodontics treatments may be required later can also help you plan ahead financially, as some of these procedures can be expensive. If you’re still struggling to afford family dental care, CHP dental services or other programs may be able to assist.

Most children don’t mind visiting the dentist’s office when they know what to expect and are treated well. Introduce your child early to instill an appreciation for good dental care and oral health. Encourage your kids to ask the dentist questions to better understand how to take care of their teeth.

Tim Esterdahl

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