Dental care should be a priority for your family. Having a healthy smile doesn't just look good, it's good for you. Your child's tooth and gum health are critical to their overall health. As a mom, you know it's important to choose a pediatrician and visit regularly. It's just as essential to your child's health to see a dentist regularly.
Invest in your child's future with proper dental care
Dental illnesses cause children in the United States to miss an estimated 51 million school hours each year. Baby teeth are delicate, and tooth decay is one of the most common childhood illnesses in the U.S., so take your child to see the dentist early to keep little teeth healthy.
Even with dental insurance, some procedures are expensive. Once you have a family, you might have to pay for multiple dental procedures each year, which can add up quickly. If you get hit with unexpected costs for your child's dental work, don't put it off. Most dentists who accept payment plans will accept monthly payments rather than demanding a lump sum. This can be more manageable, especially for procedures not covered by insurance.
Dental health is more than just cavities
When bacteria builds up on teeth and forms plaque, it's the first step toward serious health concerns like respiratory infections, heart disease, and diabetes. You can help your kids lower their risk of developing these conditions by encouraging them to brush and floss twice a day, and making regular dental care appointments.
Advanced gum disease affects major organs
Many parents don't realize that kids can develop advanced gum disease because the earliest stages are painless. If plaque isn't removed properly with daily brushing, your child's gums can become infected. The human body reacts to infection with inflammation, which can affect their heart, lungs, brain and immune system. The first indication of trouble is red, swollen and tender gums that bleed easily, or persistent bad breath.
Request brushing lessons
If your child develops gum disease, request brushing lessons during your next visit. Your dentist is an expert at showing kids the proper technique for eliminating plaque. Many children give up after only 45 seconds, but kids need to brush for two minutes twice a day. It's critical to brush just before bed because this is when bacteria cause the bulk of decay.
Consider special dental care treatments
For children who require special intervention to avoid gum disease, the dentist may apply a stronger concentrated fluoride directly to their teeth. It's typically applied with a toothbrush and can be repeated at every regular visit. The fluoride is absorbed by teeth and repairs microscopic decay.
Sealants are another common intervention that reduces the risk of decay by almost 80% in children. The clear protective coating seals out bacteria from the chewing surfaces of molars to keep cavities from forming.
Help your child stay healthy with good oral hygiene
Proper dental care is important for your whole family. It's never too late to take your child to the dentist and start a lifetime of good health. Treating your child's teeth is an investment in their future.
Written by Guest Author for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.