Is your child ready for school to start again? You’re probably spending the last few precious weeks of summer making sure they have the supplies they need for their new classes, but if your little ones haven’t received a dental checkup during their vacation, now may be your best chance to make an appointment. Here are 4 reasons to visit your child’s dentist before the new school year.
1. Less Time Away from School
A dental appointment during the school year often means pulling your child out of class. This means needing to take tests, in-class assignments, homework and extracurricular activities into account. This can make it difficult to find a good time without running the risk that your child will miss something important or will need to do make-up work later. It’s much more convenient to have the visit done while they still have plenty of wide-open days to work with.
2. Easier to Find an Appointment Time
Because so many families are on vacation, summer is usually a slower season for dental offices. Once classes start again, though, appointment schedules tend to fill up. (This is especially true for early morning and late afternoon visits, which tend to be more popular.) Making the appointment sooner rather than later will help you beat the rush and make it more likely that you’ll get a time slot that you want.
3. Get Up-to-Date Dental Records for School
Some school districts will require you to provide current medical records for your child. Even in situations where it’s not a requirement, it’s best to have the information on hand in case of an emergency. You can get their dental records from the family dentist during their appointment.
4. Prevent Long-Term Health Problems
Dental checkups and cleaning are often the best opportunity to find and remove plaque that’s built up on your child’s teeth. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that contains bacteria as well as leftover food particles; if it’s left in place for too long, the tooth’s enamel could start to decay. Eventually, your child could suffer from a serious toothache, or they could even start losing their teeth altogether!
You can get rid of a lot of plaque at home by brushing and flossing, but there are many hard-to-reach surfaces in the mouth that can easily be missed without realizing it. Your child’s dentist and hygienist will have the tools and training needed to thoroughly examine the mouth and find signs of oral health problems quickly when they’re still easily treatable.
If your child hasn’t seen a dentist in the last six months, it’s especially important to make an appointment at the first opportunity. Make sure your little one’s smile is ready for the school year!
About the Author
Dr. Nelson Y. Howard is a graduate from the UCLA school of dentistry and offers a wide variety of preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services. He’s happy to see adults and children alike at his practices in Rancho Bernardo and San Marcos. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (858) 451-0550 (Rancho Bernardo) or (760) 599-6559 (San Marcos).