The importance of regular appointments throughout the early years

Why do many private dentists offer free dental examinations to primary school children?

Preventive care is believed to be the most beneficial and effective approach to dentistry. Therefore, in order to achieve this a dental practice needs to see children regularly from around 6 months old and continue this throughout primary school. Not all babies have teeth at the age of 6 months, however it can still be beneficial to visit the dental practice, as establishing a positive routine early on in a child’s life can greatly impact how the dental team is perceived throughout the life of the child, both in the early years and in the later years. Therefore alongside the benefits of spotting early signs of tooth overcrowding, underbites or many other dental issues a dentist in Navan will also be concentrating on providing the child with a positive experience in order to build the relationship between the dental team and patient.

This relationship building has proven vital, as studies have shown that regular dental visits during childhood create positive reinforcement and in turn reduce the possibility of fears and phobias connected to the idea of dentists forming in later life.

What does the free examination cover?

Check-ups, treatments and procedures require a level of teamwork from the dental team and the patient. The daily oral hygiene routine is solely down to the individual patient and therefore requires a level of commitment on their part. Due to the need for a high standard of care to be taken at home a dentist ensures that during the examination the child is taught how to correctly clean their teeth and maintain healthy gums. By teaching a good oral hygiene routine and showing the importance of cleaning the teeth, with the combination of regular dental appointments, the need for treatments and procedures further down the line is greatly reduced.

Whilst educating the patient on the best hygiene methods to follow, a thorough examination of the teeth and gums will be carried out and any potential problems such as misalignment of the teeth will be addressed and discussed in detail. These early appointments allow the dental team to take a proactive approach, and quickly and efficiently address any potential dental issues which may occur as the patient develops.

Will attending appointments every few years be enough through childhood?

Having dental appointments during the early years of development is extremely beneficial as it is during this time that the baby teeth followed by what are considered to be ‘adult’ teeth are established. This is why some dental practices offer yearly free appointments to children within their primary school years and appointments to medical card patients. By offering this free service to children, a dental team hopes to eliminate one of the many reasons that patients become discouraged to visit a dental practice and in turn helps the patients in the early stages of their lives protect their teeth and gums.

This investment during children’s formative years promotes a healthy attitude towards eventually taking responsibility for their own dental health and with an awareness of the benefits to doing so.

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