Children with healthy mouths chew more easily and gain more nutrients from the foods they eat. They learn to speak more quickly and clearly. Finally, preventive dentistry means less extensive and less expensive treatment for the child and it begins with the first tooth.Tooth decay is the most prevalent oral disease among children. A child’s first visit to the dentist should be as early as two-and-a-half years old. Tooth cleaning, polishing and fluoride treatments are all part of a child’s first visit.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene.
Regular dental visits help children stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve a child’s brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums. Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. The application of a sealant is quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit.