Remember Dental Exams, Cleanings in Back-to-School Prep

Late summer and early fall can be a great time to schedule a pediatric dental exam and cleaningBy Jenifer Dorsey 

Late summer can be a busy time for families with children. Adding one more thing to the back-to-school checklist may seem unpleasant, but the preparatory mindset that comes with this time of year is why it might be the best time to schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning.

Staying on top of preventive oral care helps keep teeth and gums healthy, so adults and children alike can avoid missed work and school days due to tooth pain and dental procedures.

Tooth decay is the single most common childhood disease in the United States. It impacts kids in the U.S. more than any other infectious disease and is 5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than early-childhood obesity, and 20 times more common than diabetes.[1][2]

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental problems, noting that your child’s dentist will talk to you about frequency based on personal oral health.[3] The AAPD and the American Dental Association recommend a child’s first dental visit occur as soon as his or her first tooth appears—typically around 6 months—and no later than his or her first year.[4][5]

Routine exams can be a good time to ask about sealants, fluoride use, mouth safety during sports, brushing and flossing, and other general concerns. If your child experiences tooth pain or discomfort, don’t wait until his or her next checkup; contact his or her dentist right away.

Check your child’s dental insurance benefits

Many dental insurance plans cover preventive care at or near 100 percent. This may include routine exams, professional cleanings, sealants, fluoride and even X-rays.  Using these benefits is one way you can get the most out of your dental insurance premium dollars.

If you need help finding dental insurance coverage for you and your family, call 888-468-3390 to talk to a dental insurance agent from dentalinsurance.org. Visit dentalinsurance.org to get a free dental insurance quote and learn more about children’s oral health issues, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.



[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Oral Health. “Children’s Oral Health.” Last reviewed Sept. 10, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/children_adults/child.htm.

[2] The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. “Early Childhood Caries.” N.D. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/assets/2/7/ECCstats.pdf.

[3] The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. “Frequently Asked Questions.” N.D. Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions.

[4] Ibid.

[5] American Dental Association. “Healthy Children’s Dental Habits.” MouthHealthy.org. N.D. Retrieved from http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/healthy-habits.

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