When toddlers and younger children start bearing teeth, it can be tempting to leave them alone to their own devices. Many of us got along just fine without seeing a dentist as a child, after all.
And in most cases, you’re right; your child probably can get by without professional attention until their late teens. After all, unsupervised brushing and flossing are better than doing none at all.
But how often should you see a dentist as you grow up? What should you be looking out for so that you notice any warning signs of trouble early enough to get things dealt with?
Read on to find out!
Regular Dental Checkups
Getting regular dental checkups can help keep your children’s smiles healthy. Ideally, you see a dentist at least twice a year. This may vary and your pediatric dentist can advise you specifically on what they recommend for your child. During the visit, your child will get routine oral exams which include:
- fluoride treatments
This is to prevent any problems and they may include education in proper oral care. Visiting twice a year will allow the dentist to identify any developing issues and provide early corrective treatment. Without regular checkups, issues such as cavities, crooked teeth, and gum disease can become more severe.
Allow for Healthy Habits
Regular checkups allow for healthy habits and teeth to be taught and reinforced. To maintain healthy teeth and gums, regular dental checkups are essential for kids of all ages. A good rule of thumb is for kids to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a regular checkup and professional cleaning.
Examine Signs of Cavities
During a routine dental exam, the dentist will examine the mouth for signs of cavities or other dental issues such as possible gum disease. The dentist can also guide a patient through proper brushing and flossing techniques and provide tips for healthy snacking and dietary habits.
Tooth Pain and Injuries
Parents should also take their children to emergency dental appointments if there is any sign of tooth pain or injury. Regular dental checkups are necessary to detect and treat oral health problems before they become more serious which will lead to fewer trips to the dentist in the future.
For a Routine Checkup Every Six Months
It is recommended by experts that children should visit the family dentist at least every six months for a routine checkup. This ensures that their teeth and gums are kept in good condition and can help to find any potential problems before they become more serious.
Regular dentist visits for children allow dentists to keep track of the child’s teeth, watch for any decay, and make sure there is enough room for the adult teeth to come in. It is important to have regular exams to detect any early signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or misalignment of teeth.
On top of that, a dentist can also recommend brushing and flossing habits to keep the teeth healthy. Additionally, a dentist can help kids overcome any anxiety they may have about dental appointments. All this can be done with a simple routine checkup every six months.
For Children With a Higher Risk of Dental Problems
Children with a higher risk of dental problems should see a dentist at least every 4-6 months. This will allow their dentist to monitor any changes in their oral health over time, as well as to provide preventive care. Depending on the child’s unique circumstances, he or she may need to visit the dentist more frequently.
Children with a history of cavities, eating habits that include a significant intake of sugary foods and drinks, orthodontic treatments, and tooth grinding should all be seen more often, typically every 3-4 months. Regular dental checkups should include teeth and gum examinations, fluoride treatments, and cleanings to remove any plaque buildup.
Additionally, x-rays may be necessary to diagnose any potential underlying issues. Generally, children should visit the dentist every six months, but those with a higher risk should visit more often — up to four times a year — to ensure their teeth are healthy and free of cavities and potential future problems.
If a Child Has a Specific Dental Issue
It is recommended that children with a specific dental issue visit the dentist every six months. Regular check-ups enable the dentist to track the progress of the problem and to ensure that it gets corrected effectively. Additionally, regular visits enable a local family dentist to monitor any new dental issues that may arise.
Even though the issue is specific, the dentist is still able to evaluate overall dental health, perform an exam and cleaning, and apply preventative measures, such as sealants and fluoride treatments. But what are the common dental problems in kids? Read them below:
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues for kids, and it can lead to serious health concerns if left untreated. Tooth decay is the result of bacteria that grows on the teeth and produces acids that weaken the enamel of the tooth.
Kids are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay since many of them are more likely to consume sugary snacks and drinks. If left unchecked, tooth decay can progress to the bacteria reaching the dentin and infecting the pulp of the tooth, which can cause several painful issues and ultimately lead to the need for a root canal.
Kids often suffer from tooth sensitivity. One common cause is cavities. Plaque and bacteria can build up around the tooth, leading to decay. When the tooth starts to decay, it can cause the underlying layer of dentin to become exposed, making it sensitive to different temperatures and foods.
Another reason can be worn down enamel. Acids in food and beverages cause the enamel to slowly wear away, which can make it more sensitive.
Pediatric Gingivitis and Gum Disease
Pediatric gingivitis and gum disease are common dental issues in children and can be caused by a variety of factors. These issues can cause uncomfortable symptoms like persistent bad breath, swollen and tender gums, and sometimes even pain.
So, How Often Should You See a Dentist?
Visiting a dentist regularly allows for early detection and treatment of any problems, protecting your teeth from serious damage. It’s important how often should you see a dentist at least twice a year to make sure your oral health stays in great condition.
By scheduling regular checkups, you can make sure your teeth stay healthy for years to come. Contact your dentist today to set up an appointment.
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