What’s the number one most common chronic childhood disease?
Did you answer asthma? Or allergies? If so, you’d be wrong. And no, it’s not obesity or diabetes, either. It’s tooth decay.
Tooth decay affects 20 times as many children as diabetes. It’s also five times more common than asthma and seen four times more often than obesity in early childhood. It can be tempting to avoid taking your child to a pediatric dentist. They’re going to lose those baby teeth, anyway, right? And besides, their time is better spent learning to read and write and play well with others in school. This can be a dangerous mode of reasoning, however.
Early childhood dental checkups are vital to your son or daughter’s current and future oral health. Regular visits to a pediatric dentists will not only help prevent tooth decay (the pain of which is known to lead to difficulty concentrating in school, by the way), but will also help young children chew easier, learn to speak more clearly, and smile with greater confidence.
Just in case these reason aren’t enough to make you want to take your child out of school, the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools wants you to know this: Poor dental health causes over 51 million missed hours of school each year among American students. Even if you keep your child in school by avoiding pediatric dental appointments, chances are he or she will wind up missing out later on anyway.
How to find an exceptional pediatric dentistry service near you
Finding exceptional pediatric dentistry services near you shouldn’t be daunting and certainly shouldn’t deter you from helping your child receive the quality dental care he or she deserves. A good place to start is with those closest to you.
Referrals are one of the best ways to ensure you’ll be taking your child to an exceptional pediatric dentistry practice. As other parents, friends, your child’s teacher, or even his or her pediatrician if they have any pediatric dentists they can recommend. Chances are you’ll get at least a few names to work from.
Once you have a list of exceptional pediatric dentistry services in your area, do some digging online to verify they’re as good as they sound. Pediatric dentists are required to complete two additional years of training on top of the general dentistry requirements. Before taking your child to see a pediatric dentist, ensure he or she has received the requisite training.
Once you’ve verified the pediatric dentists on your list meet the training qualifications and appear to be a good match, schedule a consultation to meet them in their office. Bring your child but don’t have any dental work done during the consultation. This is strictly a getting to know each other meeting and a time for you to see how the dentist caters to children. It can also be a great way of introducing your child to the dentist so he or she doesn’t have to fear the next trip.
Use this time to get answers to any questions you have while also scoping out the atmosphere. If anything gives you a bad feeling – – be it the dentist, the office staff, or the atmosphere – – or if you child seems uncomfortable, move onto the next name on your list. One of the most important factors in finding exceptional pediatric dentistry is knowing that your child is in the best hands available.
To that end, it can be a wise idea to meet with all of the pediatric dentists on your list, even if you strike a rapport with the first one you consult. If you run through your list and still haven’t found a dentist you feel provides exceptional pediatric dentistry services, go back to the beginning and start again.
The right pediatric dentist for your child is out there.
It’s simply a matter of taking the time to find him or her. With these three simple steps, you can be on your way to finding the most exceptional pediatric dentistry services available and helping your son or daughter take the next step towards a happier, healthier mouth.