Say Aah! Why the Dentist Plays an Essential Part in Your Child’s Oral Health

Posted Oct 2021

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

Tagged teeth crowding, dental anxiety, positive reinforcement, healthy habits, education, fluorosis, thumb sucking, sealants, cavities, tartar, plaque, regular checkups, oral health, child development, dentist, Preventive Care

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Say Aah! Why the Dentist Plays an Essential Part in Your Child’s Oral Health

September 20, 2021

child talking to dentists

Kids’ schedules may get hectic with school, extracurriculars and homework, but regular dental visits are a must. Dentists play an essential role in children’s oral health that goes beyond checking teeth for cavities.

Let’s give them a well deserved shout-out because:

  1. Dentists provide preventive care

    The most obvious benefit dentists provide is preventive care through regular exams and cleanings. During these appointments, dentists or hygienists remove plaque and tartar to curb the formation of cavities, which is the most common chronic childhood disease

    For additional cavity prevention, they can place sealants on teeth that have the highest risk for tooth decay. 

  2. Dentists diagnose and treat dental conditions

  3. Through a complete examination of the inside of the mouth and regular monitoring, the dentist is able to diagnose and treat other dental issues and harmful habits, such as:

    • teeth crowding
    • fluorosis
    • poor oral hygiene and
    • thumb sucking.
  4. Dentists teach proper oral hygiene

    Dentists are the go-to resource to educate kids on proper oral health habits. Dentists can explain, in kid-friendly language, the importance of brushing, flossing, eating healthy and visiting the dentist.

    Of course, parents have the most important role in establishing healthy smiles. Dentists, however, can advise on providing proper instruction and how to model good oral health habits.

  5. Dentists can kindle a lifelong passion for proper oral care

  6. Children’s attitudes toward dental care begin taking shape in early childhood, and dentists can help shape pleasant attitudes.

    Dentists provide positive reinforcement that creates enjoyable memories of appointments and an appreciation for daily brushing and flossing. Many dentists even give kids toys or other rewards at the end of the exam to help establish trusting relationships. On the flip side, by preventing cavities and toothaches, the dentist minimizes unpleasant experiences, helping children avoid anxiety toward dental appointments.


Finding that all-important dentist

Raising a child takes the proverbial village and—we hope you agree—a dentist.

Try to find a dentist you trust for your kids early on, as early as 6 months after the first tooth emerges. Then maintain regular visits to keep your children’s teeth and smile healthy for years to come.

If you currently don’t have a dentist, use this handy tool to find one in your area. 


Looking for dental insurance?

At Delta Dental of Arkansas, we are committed to improving the oral health of all Arkansans. We offer a variety of insurance plans for individuals, families and groups at competitive rates, different benefit levels and access to one of the state’s largest network of dental providers.

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