For new parents anywhere, it isn’t uncommon that pediatric dentistry can often get placed on the back-burner for a year or even more. But dentists everywhere agree that diligent and proactive dental care for children actively leads to a better and healthier life.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry , American Dental Association , American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that it is important that “all children have their first dental visit during the first year of life”
Doing so not only helps to install the foundation for better oral care, but can also prevent children from missed school. poor performance, sickness, and even death.
The Consequence of Waiting
According to a study published by the Surgeon General, Dental caries [rotten teeth] in children is the most prevalent disease of childhood, occurring 5 to 8 times more frequently than asthma.” Continuing into adolescence, this effects of rotten teeth and cavities go beyond pain and discomfort. While serious dental problems can even cause death, untreated dental issues most often lead to the sort of pain and discomfort that actively hinders a child’s performance in school, through both lack of attention and absence. As the Surgeon General says, absense to treat these issues does not have the same effect.
How Early Pediatric Dentistry Can Save You Money
There are many studies that support the reality that early, preventative pediatric dentistry makes long-term dental care most cost effective for families. Long story short: pay a little for your child’s dentist now (even if you don’t have dental insurance) and save a lot more in the long term. In addition to instilling good habits early on, there are also more technical reasons as well. For instance, in the “Early Preventative Dental Tech Brief” published by the Pediatric Oral health and Research Center “Folic acid supplementation beginning before conception and continued for the first 10-12 weeks can result in dramatically fewer neural tube defects among infants and the cost reductions are immense.”
The Bottom Line: Save More and Suffer Less
Studies have shown that parents of children who have more preventative pediatric dental visits have fewer emergency and non-preventative dental visits, ultimately helping their families save more and live with better oral health. On top of this, the age at the first preventive dental visit had a significant positive effect on dentally-related expenditures, with the average dentally related costs being less for children who received earlier preventive care. They have also shown that the average dental-related cost is typically less for children who are accustomed to earlier and more proactive dental care.
So, if you were looking for a reason to take your infant or toddler to the dentist — don’t think twice! Not only will it help them build good oral habits in the future, but it can also reduce absences from school while also saving you money in the long run.