3 Reasons Regular Dental Cleanings Are Imperative for Children

Childhood is the perfect time to start practicing smart oral hygiene. Baby teeth do fall out, but play an important role for the time they’re in your child’s mouth. They help your child chew, feel confident while smiling, and develop speech patterns. Plus, baby teeth hold the place for the permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gum line. Baby teeth that are lost too early as a result of decay or that haven’t been properly cared for can lead to premature eruptions of adult teeth or a future crooked, crowded smile.

In addition to at-home care that includes twice daily brushing and flossing at least once per day, children need regular dental cleanings. Read on to learn why these appointments are not to be skipped.

Prevent tooth decay

At-home brushing can only do so much when it comes to eliminating plaque, which is the sticky, bacteria-ridden substance that forms on teeth. When plaque is not removed, it can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Even when kids do a great job of brushing their teeth daily, their toothbrush just can’t reach all the grooves. Plus, it can be hard to reach teeth from every angle. Regular professional cleanings provide a deep clean, preventing the plaque build-up and caught food debris that causes cavities.

Check for early issues

At regular dental cleanings, your child also gets periodic X-rays and visits with an expert dentist. This allows for early detection of issues with bite, tooth eruption, or soft tissue that could cause problems in future oral health. When caught early, treatment is much easier and less intensive (and often less expensive) than if a problem is allowed to develop into a full orthodontic or periodontal health concern.

Teach a lifetime of good habits

Tooth decay and gum disease are common in adults – especially adults who don’t make twice yearly dental cleanings a regular habit. By regularly visiting the dentist for dental cleanings, you help ingrain the concept that oral health is important and not to be neglected. Early visits, starting around age 1 or 2 or when your child’s first tooth appears, helps allay any fears of the dentist, too. Your child realizes that dental visits are no big deal and is less likely to experience fear or anxiety about future visits.

At-home care for young children

Care for your toddler’s teeth and gums by wiping down the gums with gauze or a soft, wet washcloth. Purchase a toothbrush designed for the size of your child’s mouth to make brushing comfortable and effective. The professionals at South Plains Rural Health can also help educate you and your child on the right way to brush to maximize at-home hygiene care. We can also help you understand how nutrition choices impact oral health. For example, minimizing sugar foods and drinks – such as soda – can go a long way in protecting your child’s teeth from decay.

South Plains Rural Health wants you and your family to be as healthy as possible. This includes paying attention to oral care at an early age.

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