The No. 1 Reason Kids Miss School

Family Dentistry in Lake Elsinore

The Underestimated Importance of Oral Health in Children

pediatric dentist lake elsinore ca

As hectic as life can get when it comes to taking children to school, sports practices, day care, or whatever it may be, there is one crucial aspect of a child’s development that parents have been found to underestimate its importance.

One of the most important aspects is the overall oral health and hygiene of children. It is a topic some parents might hold misconceptions about when it comes to getting a dental checkup while they are very young, which often helps avoid future cavities, alignment and potential growth/jaw issues.

Many parents come to believe since baby teeth will fall out, there is no point in going to a pediatric dentist until the adult teeth come in. There’s more to a baby and child’s oral health than cavities that may occur.

While cavities are the most common issue in the oral health of children, it certainly is not the only one. Undetected dental issues in children can result in discomfort, pain, and even infection. Because of this, outside activities and time in school can be adversely affected due to the dental problem and how the child responds.

A survey conducted by Delta Dental Plans Association showed that 30% (8.6 million) of U.S. parents stated their children, between the ages of 6 and 12, have missed a day of school due to a dental issue.

A number this substantial reflects not only the need for yearly visits to the family dentist and avoiding potential missed days of school and activities, but also to maintain a child’s oral hygiene health.

Getting Children the Dental Care They Deserve

An oral health problem left untreated during childhood can take form as a much more serious issue as the child grows up.

If care is taken in getting children routine dental check-ups, the dentist can continually assess if any significant issues arise in the oral health of the child. If a problem is detected, the dentist will be able to address it immediately, so it will be properly diagnosed and treated before it gets worse.

Fortunately, almost any dental issue that occurs in children can be treated. Therefore, it is critical that parents make the semi-annual or annual trip to your local family dentist.

Dr. Derek B. Hauser, DDS, at Lakefront Family Dentistry in Lake Elsinore is a dedicated to the professional assessment and treatment of your children’s oral health with quality, trusted care.

The Most Commonly Untreated Dental Issues in Children

As mentioned previously, it is far from true the only oral issue children face are cavities. The following dental issues are frequently diagnosed and treated in children.

1) Cavity: There is no doubt cavities are one of the most common issues. According to one finding, 43% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 get a cavity. This does not mean they all receive treatment for them, however.

A study found 1-in-5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least 1 cavity that is untreated. This number increases significantly if they are from a lower income family.

If a cavity is left untreated, it can cause the tooth to begin decaying and could trigger more severe, long-term issues. Tooth decay can also be induced by a wearing down of tooth enamel.

2) Loose Teeth: While most parents believe a loose tooth always means it is supposed to come out to make room for adult teeth, this may not be the case. A tooth that is loosened due to an injury must be assessed and treated by a dentist as soon as possible. If the case is serious enough, a root canal or crown may be needed.

3) Gum Disease (Gingivitis): It is another myth that adults are the only age group subject to gum disease. Children have also been found to be susceptible to it if their oral hygiene is lacking. Puffy, swollen gums that bleed to the touch are common indicators of gum disease, and the child should be seen immediately by a dentist if they display these symptoms.

Dr. Derek B. Hauser, DDS, at Lakefront Family Dentistry
Dr. Derek B. Hauser, DDS, at Lakefront Family Dentistry, using one of two in-house CEREC milling machines to make gorgeous, porcelain veneers and crowns for one of his patient’s beautiful new smile.

Dr. Hauser is specialists when it comes to the efficient, careful treatment of gum disease in children.

4) Misaligned or Crooked Teeth: This is something that dentists and orthodontists alike are consulted on more than most other dental issues. Also known as a malocclusion, misaligned teeth are usually referred over to pediatric orthodontists to determine if braces or another orthodontic appliance is needed or will be required in the future.

These and other lesser known dental concerns can progressively worsen and become more serious if left untreated or ignored. While many of these issues can be prevented with a good dental hygiene routine consisting of appropriate brushing and flossing along with fluoride-infused toothpaste, check-ups at the dentist should not be skipped.

Regularly scheduled dental check-ups should be routine for young children to maintain optimal oral health, and it is highly recommended by the best dentists at Lakefront Family Dentistry in Lake Elsinore.

Dental Problems in Low Income Families

A family with the status of “low-income” is characterized in this way if their income falls below 200% of the poverty line. In terms of dental care, more than 50% of these families have no healthcare insurance, which means they are unable to afford dental visits. This leaves countless families with children that have untreated, undiagnosed dental issues.

In fact, in 2000, the U.S. Surgeon General released a statement whereby he said that an estimated 50 million school-hours were lost as a result of children afflicted with dental issues. It is reasonable to believe this number has grown in the last 19 years.

A 2011 study mirrored this finding, stating that children with untreated dental issues were 3 times more likely to skip school because of dental-related pain.

In order to combat this, commendable nonprofit organizations like Homeless Not Toothless offer free dental care to low-income families around the Los Angeles area.

Around the country, however, this epidemic of untreated dental issues can be addressed starting at home. Adherence to consistent, proper dental hygiene routines, seeing a pediatric dentist at least once a year, and making sure a dentist is seen if a more urgent issue is observed are your key steps in having excellent oral hygiene.

As your Lake Elsinore Dentistry dental expert, Dr. Hauser is available to address all your dental needs and concerns with excellent care and attention. Give us a call at (951) 244-9495 and schedule an appointment for pediatric dental care or make an appointment online with us today.

Our Patients Rank Dr. Mark Phillipe, DDS, and Dr. Derek Hauser, DDS, as the #1 Private Cosmetic and Family Dentist Practice in the Inland Empire!