Why Is Detecting Oral Health Problems Early in Children So Important?

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — surfsupdental @ 10:22 pm
Baby smiles

A child’s oral health starts developing early on, and these early years do much to set the stage for their well-being throughout the rest of their life. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dentist’s appointment by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting. Here’s what these early-life dental exams can do to help keep your child happy and healthy for decades to come.

What Is an Infant Oral Health Examination?

An infant oral health examination is a dental examination designed to thoroughly evaluate the oral health of an infant or young child. In addition to an assessment of their oral health, this evaluation involves a review of the child’s medical and dental history in order to advise the parents on how to care for their teeth and help them develop proper hygiene practices early on.

During one of these routine checkups, a pediatric dentist will inspect the child’s mouth and teeth, looking for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or other oral health problems. They will check on how the teeth and jaws are growing and developing and recommend corrective measures for habits like tongue-thrusting or excessive thumb-sucking.

Why Is Early Detection So Important?

Early detection of oral health issues is a key part of keeping a patient’s teeth and mouth healthy, and it is no less important in the early stages of life. Many oral health problems can progress quickly after they begin. Early detection of issues like tooth decay can spare the child much discomfort and prevent further damage that can have lifelong consequences. Poor oral health in young children is associated with a greater incidence of tooth decay and gum disease later in life and may leave them more vulnerable to other health problems like malnutrition, infections, and cognitive delays.

In addition to addressing these issues early, regular dental checkups can provide parents with the information they need to teach their children proper oral hygiene. Excellent dental care can make the difference between a lifetime with a healthy, beautiful smile and years full of painful dental emergencies and expensive restorations.

About the Author

Dr. Bryce Cushing earned his dental degree with honors at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry before completing his pediatric residency at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He stays on top of the latest developments in the dental field through his memberships with the American Dental Association, the Nebraska Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. His office in Papillion, NE offers pediatric general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. For more information on the benefits of early detection, contact his office online or dial (402) 773-7873.

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