Why Pediatric Dentistry Matters

Why Pediatric Dentistry Matters

During fall and the back-to-school season, you’re busy getting your child ready for a healthy, happy year. Many parents take their kids to the family physician for vaccination and immunization updates and a general wellness check — on top of all the shopping for clothes and school supplies. 

But if your back-to-school list didn’t include a visit to the dentist, cavities and other dental issues could interrupt your child’s year and cause long-term dental problems. At Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin, Missouri, we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen with our pediatric dentistry offerings as part of our general and family dentistry services.   

Experienced dentist Amanda Darling, DDS and our team gathered the information you need to understand why pediatric dentistry matters. Keep reading to get the information you need to help your child maintain a healthy mouth.   

Excellent oral health for optimal overall health

You know it’s important to take your child to their pediatrician. But did you know that regular visits to the dentist play a large role in your child’s overall health and wellness? 

Diseases that start in your child’s mouth cause inflammation that can spread to other areas of their body — including their brain. Research tells us that good dental health from a young age is key to preventing many other types of health issues.  

Important preventive treatments

Young children are susceptible to cavities, just like adults. In fact, each year, nearly a half-million children struggle with early childhood cavities (ECC). The good news is that pediatric dentistry offers preventive treatments to help protect your child’s teeth. 

At Legacy Dental Care, Dr. Darling uses three preventive tools to make a lifelong difference in your child’s dental health. Here’s a closer look:   

Regular routine pediatric cleanings

Visiting the dentist regularly for routine pediatric dental cleanings is one of the most important things you can do to help keep your child’s mouth healthy. The American Dental Association recommends beginning routine cleanings at age one and continuing every six months. 

During your child’s visit, Dr. Darling and the team evaluate your child’s teeth and gums, make recommendations about brushing and flossing, apply preventive treatments, and work to catch any dental issues before they become major problems. 

Seeing the dentist regularly when there aren’t major issues also teaches your child that visiting the dentist isn’t a cause for anxiety or fear, helping them develop a healthy relationship with this important healthcare provider. 

Dental sealants

Over 90% of cavities develop in the back molars, which are home to hard-to-reach grooves, nooks, and crannies. Dr. Darling uses sealants, extremely thin coatings of plastic, to cover these areas and stop about 80% of cavities from developing. 

Having sealants applied to your child’s teeth is fast, easy, and pain-free. Dr. Darling typically applies sealants around age 6, when they first come in. And when they lose these teeth and their adult molars grow in, around age 12, Dr. Darling can apply them to their adult molars, too.  

Boosting tooth health with fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen dental enamel and can even reverse early dental damage. The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both encourage parents to use a fluoride toothpaste with their children to promote optimal dental health.

Dr. Darling uses fluoride treatments to deter tooth decay in children. These treatments are especially important if your tap water isn’t fluoridated or if your child has a higher risk of developing dental cavities.     

Promoting lifelong dental health

Pediatric dentistry provides a solid foundation for your child’s lifelong dental health. By getting regular dental care and learning excellent oral health habits, your child will have healthier teeth and gums for life. 

The preventive treatments pediatric dentistry provides help stop dental decay before it begins, which is important because children with healthy teeth learn to talk, smile, and eat with confidence and ease. And by beginning a good relationship with the dentist early, your child learns that oral care is nothing to fear. 

Learn more about pediatric dentistry and why it matters by contacting the team at Legacy Dental Care in Ballwin. Call us at 636-203-7519 to make an appointment for your child today.

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