Importance of Family Dentistry
While genetics play a large role in dental health, the family unit often plays a more significant role by establishing the habits that lead to good dental health. The family is where people most effectively learn proper nutritional habits. The family is instrumental in establishing proper oral hygiene habits at home. Additionally, the family plays a key role in establishing a healthy relationship with dental professionals. This is done by scheduling regular dental checkups for children early in life, but also through parents setting the precedent of seeing the dentist themselves every six months or so.
Family dentistry plays a key role in overall development and wellbeing from the very beginning. This is why prenatal dentistry is such an important concept. Pregnant women undergo biological changes that can exacerbate the risks and effects of dental complications, which is of concern to both mother and child. For example, studies indicate a correlation between periodontal disease and premature birth or low weight. Oral bacteria from the mother has been shown to be a significant risk factor in the development of childhood caries. Also known as bottle rot, early childhood caries is considered to be among the most prevalent of chronic diseases in adolescents.
Of course we start getting our own teeth very early in life. While we have our baby teeth for a relatively short time in the grand scheme of things, it is important not to look at them merely as disposable rental teeth. Unfortunately, the Center for Disease Control lists tooth decay among the most prevalent early childhood diseases, with 42% of children between 2 and 11 estimated to have cavities in their baby teeth. It’s important to start regular dental visits at an early age. Tooth decay can lead to severe pain, developmental issues and tooth loss even in toddlers.
Dental health remains paramount to overall well being throughout one’s life. The severe pain often caused by cavities and major tooth decay is often disruptive to eating and sleeping habits, which opens the door to a host of other general health complications.
Additionally, there are myriad health risks associated with gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis are contributing or aggravating factors in dementia, cancer, erectile dysfunction, premature birth, and various heart ailments.
Sound fundamental dentistry becomes no less important as we begin aging in life. As we age through adulthood, our mouths and teeth undergo significant changes just as do the rest of our bodies. One of these changes is often a shrinkage in oral nerves that make us less sensitive to the symptoms of degenerative dental diseases like tooth decay and periodontitis. This increases the importance of regular visits to your dental practitioner. Oral health problems are also known to exacerbate health issues that many of us already face as we get older, such as rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases, and osteoporosis.
Most of us can’t get away with only choosing to maintain excellent dental health when we get older. Many of us still end up experiencing dental health issues at some point in our lives, whether it’s due to past indiscretion or factors that are outside of our control. This is why it’s still important to have access to restorative dentistry, such as fillings, crowns, dentures, or implants.
Having a reputable, local family dentist is an essential part of family planning for people in all stages and walks of life!