February is Children’s Dental Health Month
By Capt. Alexa Bergren and Capt. Nathan Eck, 2nd Medical Group
/ Published February 13, 2020
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
“Why should I take my child to the dentist if they are going to eventually lose their baby teeth?” This is a common question that many parents have. If a child is not in pain and does not have their permanent teeth, there are still many reasons for children to see the dentist by the recommended age of one.
Lack of pain does not mean that teeth are perfectly healthy. Dentists diagnose cavities in children and adults prior to the development of sensitivity and pain. Besides diagnosing cavities, dental teams recommend preventative measures as well. Regular dental cleanings will remove hard to clean buildup on teeth that harbor bacteria. Patients can also receive an application of in-office fluoride to strengthen teeth as well.
Children’s teeth are constantly erupting and changing as well. Baby or deciduous teeth hold space for the permanent teeth to erupt. Loss of space due to cavities, missing and poorly aligned deciduous teeth can cause issues with permanent teeth eruption and position. These issues often need orthodontic intervention with braces to correct.
Additionally, developing rapport between a provider and child is paramount to prevent the child from “hating the dentist”. Starting appointments at an early age will alleviate anxiety as the child matures and when an emergency does occur, trust between the child and dentist will have already been established.
Baby teeth are not just designed to fall out. The teeth need to be protected for the adult teeth to erupt safely. Cleanings and dental exams are designed for that purpose and will help prevent damage to your child’s adult smile.