In Canada, the professional associations recommend dental assessment of children at one year of age, once the first teeth have emerged. The aim here is to identify any potential problems or issues as early as possible. Indeed, even children should be getting a dental examination every six months. In this way, the dentist can set the stage for a future of responsible oral health care.
- Establishing proper cleaning and daily maintenance
- Allowing for early identification of problems/issues
- Familiarizing the child with the clinic environment
With children, it’s important to determine if the teeth are growing in properly. And with regular exams during the year, this can be effectively monitored. For example, if teeth are growing in crooked or are overly crowded, this may eventually cause more serious problems. And while teeth actually straighten out as the jaw develops, it’s always good to be preemptive than not.
In situations where a child’s teeth don’t straighten out naturally, there may be associated issues with biting or chewing. Here, the dentist can evaluate exactly what to do and how - even to the extent that braces may be required. Once again, early diagnosis will make for a better treatment plan and better outcomes. For parents, working closely with the dentist is recommended.
From time to time, a dentist may suggest a tooth filling for a child, even though the teeth are still considered “baby teeth”. The big question here is why to fill a tooth that will eventually fall out? The answer is simple – these primary teeth will be there for a good number of years, and hence, decay or damage should be properly repaired, particularly to prevent further damage.
Primary teeth (baby teeth) actually guide the permanent teeth (adult teeth) into their proper locations in the dental arch. With regular exams, even at an early age, everything can be well monitored.