Your child's dental checkups are just as important as their checkups with their pediatrician. Tooth health is integral to overall health, and setting your child up for good dental health now can help them avoid tooth problems and expensive dental treatments in the future. Take a look at some important questions you should ask your child's dentist the next time you bring them in for a checkup.
Should My Child See an Orthodontist?
If you had braces on your teeth when you were growing up, you might remember wearing them in junior high or high school. However, experts today often start orthodontic treatment at much younger ages than in previous generations. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the time they reach age 7.
Early evaluation and treatment can allow orthodontists to detect alignment problems before they become serious, which means that they can be corrected more easily and less expensively. Even if your child's teeth seem straight, an orthodontist may be able to identify problems with jaw growth or emerging permanent teeth that aren't obvious to you. Ask your child's dentist for a referral to an orthodontist if they haven't had one already.
What Should I Do In A Dental Emergency?
Occasional accidents and injuries are a part of growing up. You probably have a first-aid kit around the house to patch up scrapes and bumps and know an emergency number to call in the event of a more serious injury. But would you know what to do if your child accidentally knocked out a tooth or developed a severe toothache on a weekend night?
Your child's dentist may have an emergency line for patients to call in these scenarios, or they may refer you to an emergency dental clinic that can treat your child if they have a dental emergency outside of your dentist's office hours. Your child's dentist can also help you put together a dental first-aid kit so that you can treat minor emergencies until you can get your child to a dentist. Items like dental wax, temporary filling material, a dental mirror, and a topical oral anesthetic can all come in handy in an emergency.
Does My Child Need a Custom Mouthguard?
If your child plays sports or participates in solo athletic activities, it's worth asking your dentist if they'd recommend a custom mouthguard. Dentists recommend mouthguards for a wide variety of sports and activities, including basketball, field hockey, horseback riding, gymnastics, skateboarding, soccer, martial arts, and volleyball, to name a few.
You can buy mouthguards at sporting goods stores or drugstores, but custom mouthguards are made by your dentist to fit your child's mouth precisely. This means that the mouthguard will be more comfortable, which improves the chances that your child will actually wear it. The precise fit of a custom mouthguard also provides more protection for your child's mouth.
Consider writing down these questions, along with any other concerns you have about your child's teeth and oral health, and taking the list with you to your child's dentist. That way, you won't have to worry about forgetting to ask important questions during your child's checkup.
For more information, contact a dental clinic like Alaska Dentistry For Kids.