Back to School: 5 Ways Dental Exams Are Good for Your Child’s Oral Well-Being

Preventive dentistry is an essential part of maintaining your child’s oral health and promoting healthy development. Routine dental exams are an important part of preventive dentistry and provide a wide range of benefits. With the school year fast approaching, now could be the perfect time for your child’s next exam.

Cavities: A Major Concern for Children

Cavities are among the most widespread health issues in children. Between the ages of 12 and 19, 57% of children have had a cavity in a permanent tooth. The problem is just as serious in younger children, with 52% of those aged 6 to 8 years having had a cavity in a baby tooth.

You might think that cavities in baby teeth aren’t a serious issue because they’re going to fall out anyway, but this simply isn’t the case. Tooth decay in baby teeth can affect surrounding tissue and potentially lead to infection. Losing a baby tooth too soon affects the healthy development of surrounding teeth, causing orthodontic issues.

Routine dental exams are an essential part of cavity prevention, along with dealing with a wide range of other dental issues. During a regular visit, the dentist removes hardened plaque, which can’t be removed by regular brushing. This helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, improving overall oral health.

Back-to-School Season: A Great Time for Dental Exams

Routine dental visits are generally recommended once every six months. Scheduling these visits can be a challenge, especially if your child is involved in lots of extracurricular activities. Getting it out of the way before school starts can make things a lot easier and help prepare your child with these key benefits.

1. Preventing Cavities

A routine exam helps prevent cavities. The dentist will remove hardened plaque, which will reduce bacterial activity. Acids produced by bacteria are responsible for tooth decay, so this will help prevent cavities. The dentist can also provide options such as fluoride treatment and dental sealants that deliver additional protection.

2. Keeping Bad Breath Away

Bad breath is something that your child might be worried about, especially with the school year approaching. It’s caused by bacteria in the mouth, the same thing that causes tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, bad breath can be a sign of the early stages of gum disease. A dentist can provide gum disease prevention and treatment if needed.

3. Ensuring Proper Oral Hygiene

During an exam, the dentist will also look for signs that indicate whether your child is keeping up with oral hygiene at home. If not, they’ll let you know so you can take action. They’ll also provide any advice or guidance needed to establish an effective oral hygiene routine for your child.

4. Promoting Self-Confidence

Your child’s self-confidence at school is another important area to address. If they are dealing with cavities or other issues, they may be self-conscious about their smile. Routine visits help maintain strong and healthy smiles that children won’t be afraid to share with classmates and teachers.

5. Reducing Overall Treatment Costs

Alongside the direct health benefits for your child, preventive dentistry also reduces overall treatment costs. Keeping up with routine dental exams ensures that potential issues are identified early. This can mean reduced treatment requirements, as many dental issues get worse over time.

Preventive care also helps avoid cavities, so your child will need fewer fillings. You also won’t have to worry about those cavities progressing to the point that they require root canal treatment, extraction, or tooth replacement, which are much costlier than keeping up with preventive care.

Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Checkup

Your child’s back-to-school dental exam will be just like any other—straightforward, comfortable, and relatively fast. First, the dentist carefully examines the teeth, gums, and jaw. They will likely take X-rays to assess your child’s development. They will also look for a few specific things and perform an oral cancer screening.

The dentist will then carry out a thorough teeth cleaning to remove plaque. Afterward, you can choose preventive options such as fluoride treatment or dental sealants for your child. Fluoride treatment helps remineralize damaged enamel, while dental sealants provide a protective barrier for rear teeth to prevent cavities.

If your child is concerned about visiting the dentist, one of the best things you can do is simply talk about it. Walk them through the process and what they can expect. Keeping up with good oral hygiene at home can also help alleviate dental anxiety.

The Best Dentist in Chico for Preventive Care

If you’re looking for the right dentist to handle your child’s back-to-school checkup, make an appointment at My Chico Dentist. We provide a warm and welcoming environment where your child can be calm and comfortable during their exam or other treatment. We offer a full range of preventive care, including dental sealants. You can book your child’s appointment today.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You

Call 530-893-8913 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.