If you have ever wondered about the importance of visiting a dentist for kids in San Diego, we would like you to know that your child’s oral health depends on how early and how often you have their teeth and gums examined by a qualified professional.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend that a child’s first dental visit should take place between the time their first tooth has made its appearance and their first birthday. This is why visiting a dentist for kids is so imperative. Early detection is crucial in not only maintaining good oral health, but also includes identifying and modifying bad habits, establishing a healthy daily routine to keep the teeth clean, and treating any problems that may arise before they get out of hand.
Without proper and regular dental care, children’s teeth can decay very quickly and, as anyone who has ever had a cavity knows, this can be an extremely painful condition. In addition, a child’s general health and well-being can be negatively impacted by tooth and gum decay and disease.
Sadly, dental caries in children is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. It is a great deal easier and less painful to treat dental disease in the earliest stages before decay sets in. If the diagnosis is delayed, it could very well result in exacerbated problems and more extensive and expensive treatments. Additionally, an early diagnosis of malocclusions, or the imperfect positioning of the teeth, may allow for a timely and successful intervention.
What is Included in a Pediatric Dental Exam?
During a pediatric dental exam, we will clean your child’s teeth and evaluate their risk of tooth decay. As a dentist for kids in San Diego, we may take X-rays to reveal any early signs of hidden problems between the teeth or under the gum-line when they are much more easily treatable.
For example, gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness, and inflammation of the gums is exceedingly common in children and adolescents. It, however, responds well to a thorough removal of plaque and improved oral hygiene. However, if gingivitis is not detected in time, it can lead to periodontitis. This is a far more serious gum disease that can cause eventual tooth loss.
Also, and again only if necessary, we may use a protective measure such as a sealant or fluoride treatment to reduce the risk of decay.
Note: A dental sealant is a protective, plastic coating applied in liquid form to the molars, which are the most susceptible to decay. The sealant forms a hard protective shield over the enamel of each tooth which keeps food out of tiny grooves and prevents the buildup of bacteria. If a sealant is applied to your child’s permanent teeth just as soon as they come in, it protects their teeth during the cavity-prone years. Although dental sealants do eventually wear down, they can last anywhere from five to ten years.
During a pediatric dental exam, parents will be given advice on preventative home care. For example, we will discuss your child’s oral hygiene habits and demonstrate the right way to brush their teeth and help you understand the impact of pacifier use and thumb-sucking. Also, since diet plays such an important part in everyone’s oral health, to say nothing of a child’s overall health and development, we will also discuss what foods they should and should not eat on a regular basis.
Older children and teenagers may be counseled on the health risks and of tobacco and piercings.