At the McGinty Dental Group, our dentist want to help educate patients on the importance of receiving regular dental care. Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can work to dramatically impact the long-term health and appearance of a patient’s smile. Even if you brush and floss daily, you still need to receive frequent exams so that Dr. McGinty can spot any potential problems before they have a chance to further develop.
Regular dental care remains incredibly important, not just for adults, but for children as well. While the value of kids’ dental care can occasionally get overlooked by parents, assuming a child doesn’t need to see a dentist because their permanent teeth have yet to develop can lead to some serious consequences.
Kids who lose their baby teeth at too young an age can develop long-term oral health issues. Baby teeth act like space holders that help to guide permanent teeth into the correct position. When baby teeth fall out prematurely, permanent teeth can form crooked, crowded, or misaligned.
Kids who experience oral health issues also have a tendency to miss far more school, do more poorly in class, and can develop problems eating.
Fortunately, regular dental care can help to minimize those potential health risks, according to a new study.
School-based dental care reduced cavities in half of the thousands of elementary students who were examined at part of a New York University’s College of Dentistry study.
What Regular Dental Care Offers
Tooth decay and cavities rank as the most common chronic disease in kids. Approximately one in five elementary school children has at least one untreated cavity.
While cavities can often be prevented by practicing quality oral hygiene at home, kids can still develop them if they don’t receive regular checkups and cleanings. For many parents short on time, finding the opportunity to take their kids to the dentist can become problematic.
In communities that offer a school-based dental care program, this concern helps to bring vital dental care to kids rather than requiring parents find the time, and in some cases money, to take their kids to see a dentist.
During the trial program, kids were provided free, twice-yearly visits from a dental hygienist. Overall, the program involved nearly 7,000 kids at over 30 public elementary schools in Massachusetts.
The dental visits included: a comprehensive oral examination; cavity treatment and prevention, including the application of dental sealants and fluoride varnish; and minimally invasive fillings that worked to treat cavities without the need for drilling.
Students also received instruction on the best ways to brush and floss, and free toothbrushes and toothpaste they could take home.
After six visits, researchers noted a 50 percent decline in untreated cavities. In one group of schools, the cavity rate dropped from 39 percent down to just 18 percent. Another school group saw the number of cavities students develop decline from 28 percent to 10 percent.
Cavities declined in both permanent and baby teeth, according to researchers. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Schedule Your Child’s Next Visit with the Team at the McGinty Dental Group Today!
As the results of the study show, providing kids with just a regular cleaning and proper instruction on how to brush and floss can offer incredible health benefits.
For parents who find themselves struggling to arrange dental care into an already overcrowded schedule, we strongly recommend reprioritizing the need to see a dentist.
A child’s smile lasts a lifetime. By providing the dental care a child needs at a young age, parents can help to lay the future foundation for a great-looking and healthy smile.