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When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Check-up?

When it comes to your child’s health, many people tend to overlook their oral health! It’s pretty easy not to think about the dentist until your child gets their first toothache or cavity. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child sees the dentist after their first tooth comes in, or by the time their first birthday arrives.

Why? Because good health starts with a healthy mouth. As parents, it’s important that we stay informed on today’s best practices for maintaining good oral health for our children.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that about 20% of children aged 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decaying tooth. Cavities can be the beginning of a whole host of issues later in life. Fortunately, cavities are preventable, especially when a child starts to see a dentist earlier rather than later.

Other benefits to seeing the dentist early in a child’s life include:

  • Learning techniques to prevent cavities and gum disease in children.
  • Assessing the current condition of the child’s oral health.
  • Determining whether a dental sealant is necessary for your child to help prevent cavities.
  • Getting the child used to seeing the dentist (helps to curb future onset of dental anxiety).
  • Helping encourage children to care more about their oral health as they get older.
  • Evaluation for tethered oral tissues that can inhibit a child from eating and speaking well
  • Evaluation of growth pattern and airway development risks

Tooth decay remains one of the most common chronic conditions among children, according to the CDC. This could also be attributed to the fact that it may be financially difficult for families to take their children to the dentist. Children from low-income families are more at risk for periodontal disease and issues.

However, there are many options for people in this situation:

  • Check out org for the latest news and research on dental care for children.
  • Apply for grants like this one from Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children.
  • Go to your local county health clinic or other government-funded programs like WIC.
  • Check with your medical insurance to see if your dependents are covered for dental care.
  • Find low-cost dental insurance for children using a site like gov.

If you still need financial assistance for covering your dental care, you can also inquire with our staff regarding available lending solutions.

Ready to book your appointment? Schedule now online or by calling our team at 562-434-6414.

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