Dental decay and gum disease can develop even in very young children. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help make sure that your child's oral cavity remains healthy for years to come. Good dental health starts very early, even before all of your child's baby teeth have erupted. When the following preventive measures are implemented early on, visits to the pediatric dentist will likely be for check-ups and cleanings, and not for treating decay and periodontal disease.
Regular Teeth Cleanings
Having your child's teeth cleaned by the pediatrist dentist a couple of times a year may be one of the most significant ways to prevent dental decay and gum disease. While brushing and flossing regularly is important in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, professional cleanings remove plaque and hardened calculus that your child may be unable to reach.
If calculus is not removed from between the teeth and under the gum line, an inflammatory process may be triggered, raising the risk for bacterial infections of the gum tissue and tooth pulp. If your child has a preexisting condition such as thyroid disease or diabetes, more frequent examinations and cleanings may be necessary. These diseases can accelerate plaque and tartar formation and may even raise the risk for oral yeast infections.
Dental health is influenced by nutrition. Children who consume nutrient-dense foods and who get the recommended daily allowances for essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein are more likely to have fewer cavities and less gum disease than those whose diets are lacking. Also, children who consume high-sugar diets are also more at risk for cavities and gum disease than children who avoid sugary foods and drinks.
Not only does good nutrition have a positive effect on your child's dental health, but it also helps maintain his or her overall general health. The pediatric dentist will also remind you that proper nutrition also helps keep the immune system strong and healthy and reduces the risk of nutritional deficiencies, which can also heighten the risk for periodontal disease and dental decay.
To learn more about preventative interventions to help reduce your child's risk of dental decay and gum disease, make an appointment with the pediatric dentist. Preventive dentistry and at-home preventative interventions are especially important for young patients, whose mouths, gums, and teeth are still in the developmental stages. Healthy teeth and gums help kids maintain better overall health, ensures proper nutrition, and increases self-confidence.
To learn more about working with a pediatric dentist, reach out to a professional near you.