Making dental visits a high priority is a habit that can rub off on kids
As adults with jobs, families and activities to keep us busy, it’s easy to forget to make time for things such as regular trips to the dentist – no matter how often we health providers may call or send reminders that it’s time to come in for an appointment. But did you know that if you’re a mom or dad who fails to see the dentist, that pattern can be passed on to your children?
Not long ago, a study in the journal Pediatrics looked at the relationship between parents’ and childrens’ dental visits across the nation. Their findings: When parents don’t see the dentist, their children are less likely to do so as well. The study looked at data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey and its Child Health Supplement, which were designed to collect health and demographic information and answers about health topics of interest from a cross section of the population. Among parents who reported that they visited the dentist during the past year, 86 percent of children had also been in a dentists’ chair. However, just 64 percent of kids whose parents lack dental visits went to see an oral health care provider during the past 12 months. In addition, among moms and dads who put their dental needs on hold because of financial considerations, 27 percent of their children also had postponed dental care. On the other hand, just 3 percent of kids whose parents did not push back their own care had their dental care put on hold.
Even though we specialize in kids at Scripps Pediatric Dentistry, we urge both parents and their kids to see a visit twice each year for checkups. Cavities can strike those of all ages and as dentists we know that tooth decay – which is of one of the most common childhood diseases and is particularly common among minority and low-income children can be easily prevented with regular dental checkups and good oral habits at home.
Don’t wait to take your child to the dentist – your baby’s first office visit should take place by their first birthday. Call our office if you are looking for a health care provider for your kids. We make it our mission to educate both parents and kids on the ways they can keep their smiles healthy for life.