If you live in metropolitan Atlanta and have a child who attends public school, yesterday was the first day of the 2013/2014 school year. What happened to the summer? Out with the carefree days of sleeping in and swimming in the pool. In with homework, after-school activities and Fall sports. At least that means football season is right around the corner! For many parents, this time of the year brings with it a big “to-do” list. Time to buy school supplies, purchase school clothes, get a physical, etc. One thing that should not escape your back-to-school “to-do” list is taking your child for his or her six-month dental checkup.
Your child’s six-month dental check-up provides a great opportunity for your dentist to look for any signs of dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Cavities can be detected during a physical examination or through the use of x-ray technology. Some dental offices even have special lasers that can be used to detect cavities that are in the earliest stages and would otherwise not be detected. Early detection enables your dentist to treat any cavities that occur before they have had the opportunity to threaten the health of the tooth. Your child’s dentist may also recommend sealants to prevent cavities from occurring on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth. Lastly, he or she may recommend fluoride treatments to further strengthen the teeth and make them less susceptible to decay.
If you have young children who still have their baby teeth, do not make the mistake of thinking that the health of their baby teeth does not matter. Studies have shown that the health of the baby teeth is often indicative of the health of the permanent teeth. Your child’s dental health problems will not simply go away when their permanent teeth come in.
As a parent, you have the important job of getting your child ready for school and for life. If your child is going back to school this Fall, help them to start the year out right with good oral health.
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