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A Pediatric Dentist in Philadelphia Urges Early Oral Care for Children

By Gerald Regni, DMD on September 09, 2014

Children’s oral hygiene is one area in a child’s development that is generally not given sufficient attention by most parents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that about 40% of children have cavities when they enter kindergarten, and about 60% of children develop tooth decays by the age of 5. The effects of not having proper oral hygiene can lead to a rude awakening in the form of cavities and toothaches.

Youngest Children

It also doesn’t help that kids usually associate dental visits with pain, so they choose to keep mum about any sort of discomfort they feel in their mouths rather than tell their parents about it, until the toothache gets worse.

As writer Gracie Bonds Staples reports in an article for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, dentists fear this lack of dental care among children is leading to an epidemic.

Doctors say the infection can impact a child’s physical and social health. The Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health estimates that more than 51 million school hours are missed by children across the country each year because of dental or related problems.
This is a concern of oral care professionals around the country, including a pediatric dentist in Philadelphia like Gerald Regni, DMD. To encourage children to visit their dentists regularly, caring dental professionals create a child-friendly and warm atmosphere in their offices, with a staff that ensures a child’s dental experience is happy and stress-free.

A trusted pediatric dentist often also has to act as an emergency dentist in Philadelphia and elsewhere. This is true when a child suddenly suffers from a severe toothache, as a result of improper oral care.

Likewise, tooth and mouth injuries are fairly common in children, given their active and playful nature. When a child’s tooth accidentally gets knocked out, the tooth should be recovered and preserved as best as possible, and child and tooth have to immediately be taken to an emergency dentist for treatment.

Losing a tooth early, whether from trauma or tooth decay, can have long term consequences in one’s dental health. Baby teeth are essential to a child’s speech development and oral digestion, so a premature loss could lead to impediments in both. Additionally, prematurely losing baby teeth, or the early loss of permanent teeth, can lead to gaps and teeth misalignment.

Proper dental hygiene is one of the things that parents have to teach their children. Not only will this ensure better dental health in adulthood, it also builds confidence and discipline in them--two things that they would need in life as they grow up.

(Source: Dentists worry about care in youngest children, Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 25, 2014)

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