Good oral health and habits start at an early age. Help your child establish proper dental care that will save you headaches, money, and, most importantly, toothaches.
While a lot of people fear the dentist, it’s important to take your child from an early age, both for their own well-being and for the sake of your wallet. Here are some reasons why, and tips that could save your kid some toothaches — and you some financial headaches.
Start ‘Em Young
Children only need one tooth before they should see a dentist. As a general rule, you should take your child in for the first appointment six months after their first tooth appears, and no later than 12 months, according to Know Your Teeth. This way your young one can start getting used to the dentist early on, and you can learn a thing or two about caring for her teeth (like fluoride needs). Bottle rot is a potential danger to your baby’s chompers, so knowing how to clean their mouth is key.
Make sure to have a plan of action before seeing the dentist. Those instruments and foreign surroundings can be scary for young kids. Try scheduling the appointment early in the day when your child is fresh and alert.
The University of Rochester explains how the first visit usually lasts 30 to 45 minutes including an exam of the teeth, jaw, bite, and gums, and may also include a gentle cleaning and polishing to remove any plaque or stains. It’s important to schedule appointments every six months, although some doctors may recommend every three months to further acclimate your child or monitor a problem.
Understandably, some people do not like going to the dentist and maybe your child won’t be wild about dental hygiene either. That’s why exposing them early to the process is important, even if you’re an extremely thorough dental patient. Many people avoid the dentist because it simple seems to expensive. According to U.S. News and World Report avoiding the dentist when you first need to can end up being more expensive as symptoms get worse and the treatment necessary becomes more complex.
Even if you and your child do take meticulous care of your teeth, most diseases won’t become apparent until they have substantially developed. If you’re going to the dentist because you’re in pain, it is sometimes too late. It’s important to address small issues before they become big ones. Keep in mind, a professional cleaning is significantly more thorough than brushing and flossing alone.
A Money Issue
The high costs of going to the dentist are enough to deter even the most diligent dental caretaker. Unfortunately, delaying regular cleanings can end up costing you much more than a filling or crown — think thousands of dollars, rather than a few hundred. According to a survey conducted by ORC International and Aspen Dental, 39 percent of American adults have limited or delayed dental care due to financial limitations. 61 percent of those making less than $35,000 a year don’t have dental insurance, while those who make less than $30,000 are more than twice as likely to have had all their teeth removed. Certainly no one wants this, for themselves or their children.
Such daunting numbers make alternative insurance options a necessity for anyone struggling to pay for dental care. SingleCare lets users pay for treatment only as needed, with no premiums and no deductibles. Without the pressing concern of major costs, only your fears keep you and your child out of the dentist’s chair — so it’s time to face them and keep your whole family’s teeth clean and healthy.