Dental exams and treatment should start from an early age, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, or AAPD,
Preventative dentistry for kids means dental care designed to maintain healthy teeth and prevent problems. The AAPD explains that children should receive regular check-ups, cleanings and preventative treatments. Dentists and oral hygienists can also educate them on how to take care of their teeth through brushing and flossing.
Preventative dentistry for children has many benefits, according to the AAPD. Oral problems can inhibit eating and keep youngsters from getting proper nutrition. They can also interfere with speech. The AAPD warns that kids with painful dental problems like cavities may be unable to concentrate properly in school. They are at risk for low self-esteem if crooked or damaged teeth are visible. Early dental care prevents these negative effects. It also potentially saves money because uncorrected dental issues often cost more to fix later in life.
Children should be treated by a dentist within the first year after their first teeth erupt, the AAPD recommends. A professional can catch and treat problems early and prevent issues like cavities that badly damage teeth. Parents should also practice preventative care by cleaning their children's teeth daily until they are old enough to handle the task themselves. The Consumer Guide to Dentistry advises using a cloth or gauze to clean baby teeth until they come in fully and can be brushed.
Dentists use various techniques to take care of children's teeth, according to the AAPD. Preventative dentistry includes fluoride treatments and sealants to prevent decay, cleaning and polishing. Dentists can recommend injury-preventing mouth guards for kids who participate in sports and prescribe night guards for youngsters who grind their teeth overnight. They can also perform screenings for orthodontic issues and provide referrals to specialists if needed.