Parents invest in their children’s future in some different ways. Money may be set aside for college. Time may be invested teaching children to read and write and speak different languages. Most people do not immediately recognize dental care as an investment into the future. The teeth that we so lovingly care for are going to fall out at some point, so how does early dental care factor into a child’s well-being down the road? Truthfully, there are several ways.
A Confident Smile
Even children can become self-conscious of their appearance when teeth are not in good condition. While it cannot be said that early dental care will prevent misalignment or poor spacing, it is a fact that baby teeth are in place to guide permanent teeth into the mouth in the straightest possible manner. If baby teeth are unhealthy or lost too soon due to disease, permanent teeth have little support in their growth pattern. Also, early dental care also involves assessment for jaw spacing. As early as age 7, a skilled dental team can begin fostering proper alignment using functional techniques.
The teeth and the tongue are vital to clear speech. If teeth are not in place, a child may develop a lisp or other problem that inhibits clear speaking. Dentists can also identify the role that soft tissues play in the potential speech impediment. A “tied-tongue” is a prime example.
There is no denying that tooth decay can make chewing uncomfortable. One way that children express such discomfort is by complaining of sensitivity to hot or cold food temperatures. If a child suddenly develops a dislike for ice cream, you know there’s a problem!
This is going way, way into the future, but it matters. Poor oral health has been linked to several chronic medical conditions. People who are prone to cavities and gum disease in adulthood are also at a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and more. Chronic inflammation is also a problem for adults with gum disease. Research suggests that children who regularly see their dentists grow up to be adults who take good care of their teeth and, as a result, experience fewer dental problems.
Invest in your child’s future with routine dental care.