The importance of dental check-ups in childhood

Between school, extracurricular activities, work, and a long etcetera, our pace of life has returned to its usual rhythm after the holidays, causing us to neglect other important aspects of our lives.

One of them is the dental check-up of our children. We tend to think that nothing is wrong, that if the child does not complain about anything it means that everything is fine, but this is not always the case, because sometimes pathologies do not cause pain and not all children have the same pain threshold, which means that sometimes they do not complain about their discomfort.

That is why I am writing this article, to raise awareness of the importance of dental check-ups and that we should not believe that everything is going well without making sure that this is really the case. Often when the pain appears it is already too late, which makes the treatment more complex and traumatic for them. Therefore, the best way to convince you is to define dental check-ups as a way of avoiding pain and complicated situations for our children with a simple act of a few minutes.

To this end, we will discuss two types of dental check-ups:

At home

One of the things we cannot neglect is to check and review our child's toothbrushing at home. All children under 8 years of age should be brushed afterwards by their parents, also reviewing if they have done it well in order to highlight the areas where they should pay more attention. Sleep, television or a simple lack of desire will make them brush quickly, bite the toothbrush or not brush their upper teeth. From the age of 8, we recommend the use of plaque remover to check if any coloured areas have been left after brushing.

In addition, between the ages of 5 and 13, molars from the age of 6 or 12 can erupt without us realising it, so they do not get to brush them and when they have finished appearing, a cavity has been created or they appear with some defect in their formation, such as the hypoplasia or the Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH). On other occasions, permanent teeth may appear in another area, without the baby teeth having fallen out, which diverts their trajectory, causing them to appear inclined (in this article you can read more information about this phenomenon, called ectopic eruption).

However, at home we have limitations caused by the darkness of the oral cavity itself, which hinders our vision, and also by our knowledge of the subject. Therefore, for an effective and exhaustive check-up, we will need the help of an expert through a dental check-up in a clinic.

This type of check-ups should always be carried out as regularly as indicated by the professional, either every 3, 6 or 12 months, depending on the child's risk of caries and their age, habits or routines.

In clinic

At all ages, check-ups are useful to check that our oral health is correct and to avoid unnecessary pain, and this is no less important for our children. If we diagnose a disease at its onset, it is easier to treat and the treatment prescribed will be less painful and invasive. The same applies to caries, and information is key to analysing and improving the brushing routine at this age.

Radiological tests are also necessary in a dental clinic to be able to diagnose interproximal caries that form between teeth and that cannot normally be seen with the naked eye in a check-up until 1 or even 2 adjacent teeth have cavitated, as the enamel is fractured when the extent of the lesion is too great.

In addition, in this type of check-ups we can also diagnose and treat other pathologies related to oral health, such as bites, canker sores, gingivitis, cysts, mucoceles or even oral tumours.