The kids are out of school for the summer. You probably have a lot of things on your list for the kids to do: family vacation, pool, beach, hanging out in the hammock, playdates, camp, shopping for school supplies and fall clothing, and maybe even a dental cleaning. What? Dental appointments?
Actually, summer is a great time for a dental cleaning for you and the kids. With the kids out of school, it’s easier to find a time slot that fits your schedule, or at least the kids’ schedule that way you don’t have to pull them from school or schedule the popular afternoon appointment far in advance.
Advantages to teeth cleaning
While it’s important to polish up the pearly whites and make sure the plaque and tarter are removed, the cleaning visit is about more than just dental hygiene. The dentist monitors the status and position of the kids’ baby teeth and emerging adult teeth. Sometimes those baby teeth aren’t coming out when they’re supposed to, which can create problems for the adult teeth still in the gums. Regular visits help ensure that a professional is watching the situation to make sure they don’t end up needing an emergency dentist visit later, requiring more extensive treatment! Your dentist will also monitor your kids’ teeth for orthodontic issues that can affect their function and appearance, and make recommendations and referrals when appropriate.
At the cleaning visit, your dentist will check your child’s mouth for existing or developing cavities. If there is a cavity, getting it filled on the earlier side may prevent a bigger problem later. The dentist can also advise you and your kids on the best brushing and flossing techniques, which is a great take-home lesson with a life-long impact on oral health.
There are also beneficial health reasons to visit the dentist. Dentists can perform an oral cancer check, something that’s difficult for parents to do on their own. Oral and physical health are interrelated, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s important to tell the dentist about any medications you or the kids are taking, for a more complete assessment of your health.
Dentistry has evolved to include many options for families who have individual dental needs. Make the summer dental visit part of your routine. The kids will expect it in the years to come, and you can rest easier knowing that you’re caring for their developing mouths, and giving them the best chance at oral and physical health while doing so.