FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Feb. 4, 2020
WEST ALLIS, Wis. – With kids, it’s best to expect the unexpected and have a plan in place – especially when it comes to their oral health. Dental problems can begin early and set the stage for a lifetime of health issues, which makes finding a “dental home” that can provide accessible, continued and family-centered care all too important for your child.
“Early dental care is so important in establishing and maintaining optimal oral health in kids,” says Dr. Andrea Igowsky, a WDA member and pediatric dentist in Sheboygan. “Parents should be encouraged to find a dental home for their child as soon as the first tooth erupts or no later than their first birthday. Taking care of a child’s teeth is one of the most impactful aspects of their overall health. In finding a dental home for kids, you set them up to receive consistent care, address potential problems and lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy smiles.”
Here are some key reasons why finding a good dental home benefits your family:
- A go-to place in a dental emergency. You may not realize just how valuable a dental home can be until an emergency situation arises, like when a child falls and knocks out a tooth. Having a designated place for dental care means you know who to call in a panic, making a stressful situation more manageable. Also, taking your child to a dental office they are familiar with and one aware of their dental history will make the unexpected trip less traumatic for everyone involved
- Prevent rather than cure. It’s best to address oral health issues early before small problems become big ones. Regular visits to a child’s dental home means a better probability of identifying issues like tooth decay and gum disease in their beginning stages, allowing a proactive approach to treatment. Cavities are one of the most common diseases in children in the U.S. Leaving them untreated can lead not only to physical discomfort, but also to eating and speech problems and difficulty learning. They can even affect erupting permanent teeth. The good news is that kids can significantly reduce the likelihood of these conditions through routine checkups and cleanings, brushing daily with fluoride toothpaste and more.
- Knowledgeable guidance. Curious about how to promote healthy habits at home? Want to learn more about how diet can impact your family’s teeth and gums? A dental home will always answer your questions and provide you with expert tips on how to take care of your child’s teeth at all ages. Establishing a relationship between your family and a dental team will also allow them to better understand you and in turn offer treatment options tailored to your child’s needs.
- Form positive associations. Early exposure and creating positive experiences of going to the dentist can have far-reaching impacts on kids. The more visits to the dentist, the more likely they are to form a positive perspective on dental appointments and maintaining good habits growing up. Pediatric dental offices are especially equipped to achieve this by providing a caring and welcoming atmosphere for children and parents. From scaled-down furniture and sinks, to using kid-friendly vocabulary and tone, they do everything they can to make sure young patients feel safe.
Establishment of a dental home is an essential need for your child that will ensure their oral health is properly managed for years to come. Early preventive care is a smart health and economic investment that impacts not only dental health, but overall physical and mental wellness, as well.
For help finding a pediatric dentist and dental home near you, or for more information about your child’s oral health, please visit www.aapd.org.