Have you ever wondered why it’s recommended that you bring your child to the dentist every six months? While it might seem excessive to some, there are many reasons why this is important. Here’s just a few!
1. To Catch Tooth Decay Early. It’s important for a dentist to check your child’s teeth on a regular basis so decay and other issues can be caught early. If a tooth with a cavity is left untreated, that cavity will only grow over time as will the treatment necessary to fix it. Eventually, problem teeth will likely cause your child pain and can result in unrepairable damage to the mouth. Additionally, even primary (baby) teeth that develop cavities can affect the follow-on permanent teeth. It is better to catch them early so the filling can be small and more natural tooth structure can be maintained.
If the start of decay is detected early enough, a filling may not even be necessary at all. In this case, your dentist will “flag” the teeth necessary to watch them more closely and instructions on how to stabilize that area will be given. In general, this includes flossing daily and limiting sugar to prevent the decay from progressing. A fluoride mouth wash and/or having fluoride varnish applied more frequently may also be recommended.
2. To Track the Progress and Development of the Teeth – is another important reason to make it into the dentist regularly. At recall appointments, your dentist will monitor the eruption and development of your child’s teeth radiographically and clinically. If your child’s mouth is not naturally losing teeth properly or creating the necessary space for new teeth, your dentist will assist in that process. Also, If necessary, your child may be referred to an orthodontist for further evaluation and assistance to work on that perfect smile.
3. To Get those Teeth Cleaned Professionally. It is also important to bring your child to the dentist regularly so their teeth can be professionally cleaned and fluoride varnish can be applied. Many children and adults develop calculus (hardened plaque) over time that will not come off without professional instruments. If calculus if left on the teeth, chronic gingivitis (infection of the gums) will occur. Making regular recalls is a simple way to ensure those pearly whites stay strong and healthy.
4. To Receive Personalized Advice and Hands-On Education about your Dental Needs. Everyone’s different, and so are your teeth! Every child has a natural tendency to develop different habits over time whether its thumb-sucking, teeth-grinding, brushing too hard, soft, short, long, etc. Receiving regular dental hygiene instruction and education based on your child’s age and specific dental needs is a vital step to ensuring the best care possible.
As we’ve mentioned before, by coming early and often you can ensure the best care for your child’s teeth from the start. In establishing a regular relationship with your dental home, it is even possible for your child to actually be excited for each trip to see the dentist! And of course, that is our hope and desire for you!