Twenty times more common than diabetes and five times more common than childhood asthma, tooth decay (dental cavities) should be an important focus of your attention as you look to maintain your children’s health. Children dental care is without a doubt a must have. Brushing your teeth is all well and good, but it is nothing compared to the assurance of a professional making sure your child receives the proper care and instillment of hygiene that they need to lead successful and healthy adult lives.
The thing is, when you tell people that dental care is important, they often respond with empty words, wondering why you would even think to point out something that obvious. Unless unable to afford it, who wouldn’t get their children dental care? It may seem cut and dry, but the numbers say otherwise. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 19 percent of children aged 2 to 19 have untreated dental issues. That is nearly 1 in 5 children, a number far too high to be considered acceptable.
Even though this statistic of children dental care only includes ages 2 and older, dental care actually becomes important as soon as a baby has teeth. Good dental care can start as soon as your baby’s teeth are visible, which typically begins at approximately four months of age. Initially, you may want to use a washcloth to clean your child’s teeth and eventually move to a small toothbrush. Being gentle in this way is important; seeing as small infants are very fragile.
Although you may think that it is not necessary to emphasize dental habits until adult teeth begin to come in around age six, baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth, and damage to them has been shown to cause substantial problems later for the majority of individuals. Dental work is expensive, and not taking your children in for regular checkups will actually cost you more money in the long run. This is because of the simple fact that preventative care methods are much cheaper and more effective than damage control or correction later in life.
One such form of preventative dental work for a childs teeth would be applying sealant to the surface of a child’s permanent molars. Studies in children show that sealants reduce decay in the permanent molars by 81% for 2 years after they are placed on the teeth and continue to be effective for 4 years after placement. Remember though, this is not an alternative to proper dental hygiene; but rather helps in addition to an individual’s routine.