Do They Really NEED a Back-to-School Dental Checkup?

Did you know that tooth decay (or cavities) is an infectious disease? What’s more alarming is that, according to the United States Surgeon General, more than half of children ages 5-9 have at least 1 cavity and that more than 51 million hours of school are missed each year due to dental related issues. That is why it is important for parents to have their children evaluated as part of their back to school checkups if they aren’t already being seen twice a year.

Dental wellness is still not widely thought of in a person’s overall health. It is important for parents to understand that cavities, as well as gingivitis and gum disease, actually affect the rest of the body and left untreated can spread and worsen. The American Dental Association reports that tooth decay is the most common, chronic disease of children and is a key cause of tooth loss in younger people.

Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable and treatable. Just like safeguarding ourselves and children against common colds by washing hands, there are ways to help fight decay. Helping our children develop good dental hygiene habits by regular brushing and flossing will help with prevention. Regular dental checkups can help with early detection and allow issues to be taken care of before the threat of spreading, pain or even tooth loss.

So while you’re out picking up that new backpack or #2 pencil , make sure that a dental checkup is on your list. Giving our children the best chance at starting the school year healthy, happy and ready to learn is the best thing we can do to ensure their success. Happy Back-to School!

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


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