As you get your child ready for the start of a new school year and shop for supplies, backpacks, and clothes, be sure to also schedule them for a back-to-school dental exam! Tooth decay is the most common dental concern among children. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year.
Fortunately, it can be treated when caught early. Prevention and early detection can help avoid pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking, and school absences. When your child visits the dentist, we examine their entire oral health. We make sure their teeth are growing correctly, that their bite isn’t misaligned, and keep an eye out for any potential concerns.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When you bring your child in for their back-to-school dental exam, we will look for any signs of cavities, tooth decay, or gum disease. We may obtain digital x-rays to see if there are any concerns that may not be visible. We will check to see how well their teeth and jawbones are developing and make sure they are healthy. We may recommend sealants during these back-to-school exams. Sealants are a thin, protective coating that create a barrier around your teeth and work to reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria.
Besides x-rays and examinations, we will also clean your child’s teeth professionally. Even if your child brushes twice a day for two minutes each time and flosses daily as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), there can still be some missed areas. Using our special tools, we can remove buildup and tartar from areas that a toothbrush and floss can’t reach, allowing your child to have a bright and fresh smile for the new school year.
If your child is playing sports, consider having a mouthguard custom-made for them. Mouthguards are essential for every athlete. They are cushioning oral appliances made of flexible material that fits snugly over your teeth to help protect against injuries to the teeth and mouth. They also prevent the jaws from coming together fully, reducing the risk of jaw joint injuries and concussion.
If your child already has one, we can examine it for fit, wear, and tear. We recommend purchasing a new mouthguard every season or every time your child goes through a growth spurt. Make sure to rinse it before and after every use and to dry it and store it properly when not in use.
SCHEDULE YOUR CHILD’S BACK TO SCHOOL EXAM
By having your child attend routine exams every six months, we can keep an eye on your child’s oral health and identify and treat any issues early on before they progress. It’s important to us that your child starts this year with a happy, healthy, and bright smile. For more information on your child’s back-to-school dental exam or to schedule an appointment, contact Alameda Pediatric Dentistry today.