It’s back to school time and there’s plenty to do. It’s time to load up the shopping cart with notebooks, binders, mechanical pencils and other school materials on the supply list.
A quick visit to the kids’ doctor will get them up to date on their booster shots and check to make sure that they’re in top physical shape to take on the new year’s adventures and challenges, not to mention a sizeable amount of homework.
But what’s missing? The start of school is also time for your children’s 6-month dental care check-up, but too often it gets lost in the shuffle. You may have kids transitioning from elementary to middle school while the little ones are gearing up for “real school” beyond pre-school and kindergarten. With so much going on, the visit to the dentist gets put to the bottom of the to do list.
“A lot of times the dental check-up is overlooked by parents,” dentist Bryan Dunlap, D.D.S., told KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Ark. “But it’s really important to get that as a regular regimen for kids. When they’re regular with their check-ups, things go a whole lot easier with them.”
Beating the Cost
With the high cost of dentistry services, you may have another reason to put off dental visits. People often have no dental insurance because of the cost of premiums. Out-of-pocket expenses for dental work are also frequently prohibitive.
For people in that situation, a discount dental plan is the way to go. Many dentist procedures are available under such plans at reduced prices for both individuals and families.
Once the dental plan is in place, you can address their children’s oral health needs on the twice-a-year schedule that dentists recommend. In addition to routine exams for vision and hearing, dental check-ups are among the most important medical steps that parents can take to keep their children healthy. Preventive care may stop tooth decay or at least discover problems before they become serious.
Keep Up Dental Care
When your child complains of tooth pain, that’s just the start of trouble. It’s best to have it looked at as soon as possible to avoid additional trauma. Discomfort from a cavity can make it difficult for children to eat, speak or keep their minds focused on their schoolwork and classroom activities.
In worst cast scenarios, kids may actually become depressed or fatigued by tooth pain and have to miss school days. Teachers may not recognize this as an issue related to dental health, so it’s important for parents to monitor their kids dental care and eating habits to forestall cavities.
Parents need to be especially vigilant about how much sugar their children are eating because it’s directly linked to tooth decay.
“Watch the sugar intake, particularly with kids who are decay prone. The sugary drinks, they’re the worst,” Dunlap told KARK.
Another issue is protecting your children’s teeth when they play sports or other play activities that may cause an injury. The American Dental Association advises parents to get children a mouth guard, which is available through their dentist or at local sporting goods stores. A custom mouth guard that’s fitted to your children at the dentist provides the best protection.
The benefits of regular dentist visits for children – and adults, too are many. Not only are their health needs met, but for kids, getting used to regular check-ups often will ease their apprehension about dental work. If they’re comfortable going to the dentist, they are likely to continue this habit as they get older and practice good dental care throughout their lives.
Did we miss any points that parents should be concerned with? Let us know in the comments below!