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13Aug2015

Back To School Time? Don’t Forget Dental Checkups

TOOTH DECAY IS THE #1 CHRONIC DISEASE IN CHILDREN. It’s estimated that 40% of children have some form of tooth decay before they even reach kindergarten. Alarming, isn’t it? But SO much of the problem is preventable through routine hygiene appointments.

Start The School Year Right!

Between the scavenger hunt for school supplies and the obligatory fall wardrobe overhaul, the back-to-school dental checkup might be one of the most important end-of-summer rituals.

During the summer months, families can become complacent. Midnight popsicles and other party foods can wreak havoc on a child’s enamel. And, maybe the regular brushing routine has slipped a little. A back-to-school checkup helps prevent long-term damage from occasional bad habits.

Here are three things to expect at a back-to-school dental visit:

1. New Head Shots

Kids’ teeth are constantly changing and dentists will often want annual X-rays. These can help track the way teeth are moving, predict problems and monitor healthy development. If your child hasn’t had X-rays in a year or more, they should expect to “bite down” and pose for a new portfolio.

2. Spring (Or Fall, Actually) Cleaning

Any plaque that has accumulated, especially between the back teeth or behind the front teeth, will be removed. A hygienist can point out where the plaque deposits were heaviest. That information can help kids know where to brush better or, in many cases, floss regularly. The dentist will come in after the cleaning and check your child’s teeth even more closely. He or she may make additional recommendations about brushing habits.

3. Damage Control

Cavities that have developed since the last checkup will likely need to be filled. Depending on the dentist’s schedule and the scope of the repairs, this may happen at the check-up or at a follow-up appointment. Decayed tissue will be removed from the tooth and a filling will be applied to prevent further damage.

Depending on your child’s oral condition, the back-to-school dental check up may also result in a referral for an orthodontic evaluation or another specialist. Expect to get helpful advice about your child’s specific oral care obstacles—whether it’s a crowded mouth, dietary concerns, weak enamel or a tendency to not brush well in certain areas of the mouth.

Add Dental Checkups To Your Back-To-School Checklist

Don’t wait until there’s a problem—even if your child isn’t complaining about discomfort. Tooth pain doesn’t usually exist until decay reaches the tooth’s pulp. At that point, it’s probably advanced and may require more extensive treatment. Good preventive treatment happens BEFORE there’s pain.

For long-term health and wellness, it’s important to start the school year on the right track, which includes a healthy mouth and gums.

Help Set Your Child’s Great Oral Health Habits Now!

When you take an active role in your child’s oral health, you do a lot more than care for his or her teeth. You help your child develop habits that will positively shape overall health for life.

To schedule your child’s back-to-school examination, call now to request an appointment.

It’s back-to-school time…are you ready?!

Top image by Flickr user woodleywonderworks used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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