It’s that time of year again: Back to School season. You’ve prepped your kids with earlier bedtimes, new routines and necessary school supplies, but did you schedule their dental appointment yet? According to the American Dental Association, a dental cleaning and exam should be included in your child’s back to school preparation. In fact, some schools actually require a back-to-school dental exam.
The ADA claims that a dental checkup is just as important as immunizations and booster shots – and we’ll help explain why. Here are 5 reasons you won’t want to forget scheduling your child’s dentist appointment at the beginning of this school year.
- Better performance, better attendance.
Tooth decay not only affects your child’s health, but it can also affect school attendance and performance. According to the CDC, more than 51 million hours of school are lost each year because of dental related problems. When your child experiences dental pain, it can also make it difficult to speak, eat and be active. Ultimately, staying on top of dental visits and oral care can help your child focus on school and improved performance.
- To check for tooth decay.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children. Data from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported that 41% of children aged 2 to 11 years had cavities in their baby teeth while 42% of those aged 6 to 19 years had cavities in their permanent teeth. Since cavities are preventable, there is no reason why tooth decay should get out of hand. For permanent teeth, sealants may also be a good option as another way to keep your child’s teeth from getting cavities.
- To teach proper oral care techniques.
It’s important to know the proper technique of brushing your teeth to effectively remove plaque and prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, and other serious oral conditions. At your dental visit, your dentist can show your child how to properly brush and floss to effectively remove food and plaque. Remember that children, especially young children, need instruction and supervision when brushing. Brush up on proper brushing techniques here.
- To properly fit for a mouth guard.
If your child is involved in sports, now is an ideal time to address teeth safety and mouth protection. Injuries of the mouth are common sports injuries among kids. So much, that the ADA strongly encourages wearing a mouth guard for a variety of sports and activities. Your dentist can fit your child for a custom mouth guard, specifically designed for their mouth to protect the teeth from chipping, protect the face, protect the jaw from serious injuries. If your child already has a mouth guard, now is a good time to bring it into your dentist’s office to have it checked.
- To catch problems early on.
Your child may use x-rays to check your child’s teeth. Dentists perform x-rays to check for issues with the teeth, mouth and jaw. Problems can include tooth decay, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, bone damage within the jaw and injuries like broken roots. X-rays can find these problems early, possibly before symptoms are even present. Early detection is key, as it always means avoiding more serious problems and less costly treatment down the road.
Ready to find a dentist near you? Check for one in your area and get your back to school appointment scheduled today.