Pediatric Dentistry: The Stakes Have Been Raised

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Pediatric Dentistry:  The Stakes Have Been Raised

Your pediatric dentist gives more than just a checkup. A healthy oral cavity, or lack thereof, can change the course of your child’s life.

If the number one disease amongst children nationwide is easily preventable, why does it still affect 40% of children in the United States?

Dental caries, or cavities, remains the most prevalent disease in children ages 2-11, topping the charts even above asthma. And yet many parents shrug off the presence of a cavity as though it’s a “rite of childhood”. However, the effects of a child’s oral health reach far past just “some harmless tooth decay”. The presence of consistent pediatric dentistry and proper oral care in your child’s life could mean the difference between a pain free, confidence-filled life and one nuisanced with disease.

Why is the consistency of early pediatric dentistry so crucial to your child’s development and overall health?

3 Ways Your Child Benefits from Regular Pediatric Dentistry

Proper Routines Easily become Habits

Visiting a pediatric dentist in the first few years of a child’s life brings the added perk of thorough education for you as the parent. Poor oral routines result in poor oral health. And oftentimes, parents simply may not be aware of common pitfalls that come while striving to protect their child’s teeth.

For instance:

  • Did you know that you should never let a baby fall asleep while drinking a bottle?
  • Or on a similar note, are you aware that once your child’s first tooth has erupted, the night time on-demand breastfeeding should be minimized or eliminated for tooth enamel protection?
  • Also did you know that granola bars and dried fruit are actually poor options for snacks as they both deposit easily on the teeth and consist of a high amount of sugar?

The following benefits are yours when you see a pediatric dentistry with consistency:

  • Proper brushing technique explained and demonstrated
  • Importance of oral hygiene placed forefront in your child’s mind
  • Education on what practices, habits, or foods are helpful and conversely harmful

Children emulate what they see. When you place importance on oral health by following your dentist’s guidelines and keeping a consistent schedule for oral exams, your child will soon learn that the condition of her mouth is something to handle with great care.

Preventative Care Promotes Overall Oral Health

It seems obvious to say that receiving pediatric dental care improves oral health, but many times parents may not realize the extent to which proper oral care can protect their child’s health.

When poor brushing habits, unhealthy diet choices, and lack of dental care combine, the mouth’s natural abilities to fight bacteria simply cannot win. Sugars and carbohydrates combine with bacteria in the mouth to form an acid that erodes tooth enamel. Children’s enamel (especially in primary teeth) presents an easier target for this acid, as it is softer and less resistant to decay. When decay sets in, your child may experience pain, difficulty focusing, and further infection complications. Decay left untreated can result in the loss of a tooth and eventual bone damage and deterioration. When a tooth must be pulled prematurely, other teeth will begin filling the space. Even if the lost tooth was a primary tooth, the shifting and potential deterioration directly affects the placement of permanent teeth and the strength of the bone surrounding the teeth.

However, when your child receives consistent cleanings, check ups and maintenance from your pediatric dentist, problems are prevented or, if present, handled immediately after they arise, eliminating any further damage.

Pediatric Dentistry exists not just to prevent cavities for your children, but to protect their oral health in their adult years.

The Benefit of Oral Exams for Disease Prevention and Diagnosis

Unhealthy oral habits can cause inflammation and infection in the gums, bringing with it gum disease such as gingivitis, or the more serious periodontitis in the later years.

However, gum disease is not the only disease that presents problems within the mouth. For the past few decades, medical professionals have begun observing a direct connection between gum disease and numerous chronic health issues such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, problems in pregnancy and birth, endocarditis, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Diseases such as diabetes, Lou Gehrig’s, leukemia and oral cancer can first be detected through oral manifestations and therefore treated earlier. The signs and symptoms of as many as 120 medical conditions can be seen through an examination of the mouth, throat and neck.

Consistent oral care from your pediatric dentist carries with it the ability to prevent gum disease and complications but also to diagnose more serious diseases earlier.

Pediatric Dentistry: A Necessity

Most parents would never question the need to see their child’s pediatrician for regular check ups. Equally important sentiments are those concerning your child’s pediatric dentist. You and your child will enjoy the benefits of pediatric dentistry for years to come.

Don’t delay! Call Penn Dental Family Practice today. With over 35 dentists, we have experts in every field of dentistry. At Penn Dental your child receives the best of the best. We cannot wait to work with you keeping your child’s oral health and overall health in prime condition!