This article first appeared in OnTarget, but we thought it would be great to share this important information once again. Child dental care plays an important part in their health, let’s take a look at how we can work best with pediatric patients!
Did You Know?
3 Obstacles to Oral Healthcare for Children in America
- Social Obstacles: Statistics reveal disparities among racial groups when it comes to the oral health of children.
- Economic Obstacles: A strong association exists between caries and children living below the poverty line.
- Geographic Obstacles: Many children live in areas underserved by qualified dental professionals and are unable to travel far to access care.
Dentistry has progressed in many ways since 2000, but treating children with special needs isn’t one of them.
Improving Children’s Access to Oral Healthcare
- 9 in 10 children in the United States today have dental insurance coverage.
- Preventive dental treatments and early screenings are increasingly being offered as part of regular medical care.
- Emerging technologies for information sharing will improve medical-dental collaboration on pediatric cases.
What Can Dental Professionals Do?
Dentists, hygienists, and other professionals in the industry who work with children can all do their part to help improve access to care. Consider taking these six steps:
- Stay informed of and quickly adopt new technologies that improve oral health literacy and make treatment more accessible and affordable for children.
- Make education a priority. Diet and oral hygiene have the biggest impact on children’s dental health, and these factors require the full support and cooperation of parents.
- Emphasize preventive treatment, such as regular cleanings and fluoride applications.
- Seek continuing educational opportunities that equip clinicians to provide comprehensive dental care to pediatric patients with special needs.
- Help children have a good experience in their practice so that they form positive associations with dentistry and oral care.
- Get involved with community efforts to raise awareness about children’s oral health and improve access to care
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Children’s health data. aapd.org/research/ policy-center/childrens-health-data/
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Oral health in America— February 2022 bulletin. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/oralhealthinamerica/section-2-summary