Adequate dental care is important for children and adults alike. Despite this importance, a recent study by the University of Adelaide showed that more than 40% of children aged between five and ten years have decay in their teeth. Perhaps even more alarming are the results which show that one in nine children up to the age of 14 have never even visited a dentist. If you're a parent and you haven't yet taken your children for a dental visit, then here are three reasons why you should make that appointment as soon as possible.
1. Oral health education
A solid understanding of the importance of caring for teeth and gums is important for children's ongoing oral health. A visit to the dentist can educate children on brushing techniques, flossing techniques, and why regular brushing is so important. Many dentists will also provide children with a chart which depicts correct brushing and flossing techniques with easy to follow pictures. Early oral health education sets your child up for good dental health throughout their childhood and into adulthood.
2. Vulnerable primary teeth
A child's first set of teeth are called primary teeth, and are also known as baby teeth. Although these teeth will eventually fall out, usually starting at around six years of age, it's still important to take good care of them. Primary teeth have a less robust enamel coating than secondary teeth, or adult teeth, and this makes them even more vulnerable to decay and cavities. Untreated cavities in primary teeth can also lead to decay of the secondary teeth, which are located in the child's jawbone, even before they emerge after the loss of primary teeth.
3. Good general health
Good oral health in both children and adults is linked with good overall health. If you neglect your child's oral health, this can lead to other health problems such cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and kidney diseases. Infection of the gums or tooth decay can also weaken a child's immune system and make them more susceptible to more frequent childhood illnesses such as colds, flus, and throat infections.
As you can see, ensuring that you children receive regular dental care from a young age is vitally important to their future oral and general health. Fortunately, for low income families, the federal Government offers Child Dental Benefits. This provides children with up to $1000 in dental treatment over each two-year period. Most dental practices accept Child Dental Benefits as payment, and you can find out if you're eligible by contacting the Department of Human Services.