It’s back-to-school time for kids across America.
While the classroom may look different this year, cultivating excellent dental habits shouldn’t change one bit. Here are some of the things parents can do to keep their kids’ mouths healthy.
Should Your Children Get Cleanings?
Despite the presence of COVID-19, it should not be forgotten that dental checkups are still vital, especially for young, developing mouths.
While brushing twice, or even three times a day is certainly important, it’s hard for kids to brush away everything that’s harmful on their own. Early checkups prevent tooth decay and dental pain, both of which can lead to trouble concentrating and medical issues later in life. Early checkups can also help prevent cavities and stains, something a toothbrush cannot always accomplish.
What do dentists look for?
Dentists examine a child’s mouth with a number of factors in mind.
- Evidence of negligent brushing and care
- The nature of a child’s bite, which can signal the need for orthodontics
- Gum inflammation, which can lead to gingivitis and other health issues
- Baby teeth should begin to wiggle around the age of four, falling out between five and fifteen
- Timely tooth eruption (are they coming in on schedule?)
- Evidence of abnormal growths in the mouth
Checking your child’s teeth
Due to COVID-19, many kids have not seen a dentist in months. As a result, your child may need a set of x-rays, to detect issues early on. Parents should also make sure to bring along their child’s mouth guard or retainer to the orthodontist or dentist’s office; kid’s teeth are constantly changing and shifting, so a long period without a checkup may require appliances to be refitted.
What about sealants?
Sealants act as barriers for your child’s teeth, a great way to protect them from cavities. Typically, a thin coating of sealant is placed on the back teeth (molars), where kids do most of their chewing. This type of protection is often invaluable; in fact, the CDC reported that sealants shield against 80% of cavities for up to two years after application.
Back to school with healthy teeth!
Although it may not seem a priority, establishing and maintaining dental health is crucial during the early years. The past spring and summer have been hectic and worrisome for everyone, especially parents. Now that class is back in session, it is prudent to schedule a dental appointment for your child (and yourself!).
Written by Bryan Armetta
Edited by Clifford S. Yurman