February is one of our favorite months here at Hough Orthodontics – and not just because of Valentine’s Day! February is Pediatric Dentistry Month, and this is a noble cause that’s near and dear to our hearts. Creating a beautiful, healthy smile means starting early, and that makes childhood dental care crucial for a lifelong smile.
Baby teeth play an important role in dental development.
While they do eventually fall out, baby teeth play several critical roles in dental development. For one, they help a child learn to chew, swallow, speak, and breathe, so problems with baby teeth can lead to serious developmental issues later on. Additionally, baby teeth act as guides for permanent teeth once they erupt, so losing any prematurely can cause issues in spacing. Finally, children learn their dental habits with their baby teeth – so instilling a habit of consistent, conscientious dental hygiene is an important part of helping them develop a beautiful smile.
Childhood dental health isn’t all about hygiene.
In many cases, orthodontic treatment needs to start early as well. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation at age 7. That’s because at this age, the back bite is established, so we can spot any current problems or see any that may develop down the road. For many patients, we elect to wait and begin treatment in adolescence – but in some cases, early intervention can be the difference between a fast, inexpensive treatment and costly, time-consuming procedures later on. Click here to learn more about the importance of early evaluation for kids.
Education is important to develop good hygiene habits.
Many children’s only exposure to good oral hygiene habits is the occasional trip to the dentist. Hopefully children are seeing their pediatric dentist every 6 months, but in many cases, they are not able to. To help provide a solution to this, Dr. Hough has begun scheduling visits to classrooms to provide grade specific education. Hough Orthodontics also schedules field trips to the office. We have found that providing a fun, relaxed, and educational experience at the office helps reduce anxiety not only about going to the dentist, but also to the orthodontist, once the time has come. If you are interested in scheduling an in-class visit, or a field trip, take a look at our Teachers Only Page for more information, or call our office at 636.391.1959.