The Significance of Early Dental Intervention in Children

dentist

Parents, how often do you bring your kid to a dentist for children in Utah? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sticking to a regular schedule, which is every six months. The interval may be shorter or longer, depending on the child’s oral health.

Sometimes life gets in the way. There’s school, holidays, and other illnesses in between. It might not be possible for you to schedule such appointments. Ignoring pediatric visits, though, can do more harm than good along the way.

Complications of Missed Dental Appointments

Not visiting your child’s dentist regularly can affect the kid’s schooling. This is the finding of the University of Southern California in 2012.

Children with tooth pain could increase their likelihood of a low-grade point average up to four times. It means their GPA falls below the median, which is 2.8.

They also tend to miss school. On average, elementary schoolchildren miss six days a year. About a third of these are due to dental issues.

High school students, meanwhile, are less likely to be absent. They usually miss school for 2.6 days a year. But 2.3 days of this can be because of a toothache.

How much do they miss in school? The Economic Policy Institute conducted a study to know the answer. According to them, there’s a correlation between frequent absences and worse school performance. On average, those who miss up to two days accrue a standard deviation of 0.10 in math scores.

This is when you compare them with other kids who were never absent. That’s a small percentage, but it’s significant when you look at the bigger picture.

The deviations also increase the longer they are absent. For instance, those who were out of school for three to four days have a standard deviation of 0.29 in the same subject.

child with dentist

The California study further suggests that dental problems affect not only the children but also the parents. You might miss up to 2.5 days a year of work to take care of them.

The costs can also be staggering. In 2016 data among Alaskan children, treating dental caries cost almost $1,500. It’s far more expensive when the child needed a full dental reconstruction. It meant spending of $9,349.

Can Regular Dental Visits Save Money?

Visiting a dentist costs money, but is it worth it? At least two studies say so. The first one is the mentioned 2016 Alaskan study. In their research, proper methods of brushing one’s teeth already had an economic impact.

Another research, published in 2014, also concluded the same thing. For this, the team compared first dental visits:

  • Those who saw a dentist before they turned four years old were early starters.
  • Late starters are the ones who visited a dentist when they were above four years old.

In their analysis, they found that the costs for the most common procedures were significantly lower among the early starters. For instance, extractions could be worth $44.76 for the early starter group. It could then balloon to $91.38 among the late starters.

How can these dental visits save you money? It’s because they can promote early intervention. The sooner they can spot the oral problems, the better you can take care of your child’s health.

Not only can you save money, but you can also help ensure they remain in school the entire year. You also don’t need to miss work.

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