If your child is ready to start pre-school and they have never been to the dentist or an optometrist, you could be putting their oral and ocular health in jeopardy. Most parents are good about getting their child to the pediatrician, but not to a dentist for regular cleanings, or an optometrist for a vision screening.
There are many problems that can occur if you don't see these two specialists at an early age, and these concerns can last for a lifetime. Here is what you need to know.
Up to 10 percent of preschool aged children have a vision problem. If your child has a vision problem that you haven't caught, they could have delayed academic, physical and social success. They may not be able to distinguish colors, letters, shapes and numbers, and they could also deal with poor coordination because they can't see.
Your child may not sit and watch television or listen to a story like other kids, and it could cause them to sit out of learning or playtime activities. Have your child's vision tested by an optometrist, which is an ocular specialist, before they go to preschool.
Parents sometimes skip the dentist because they assume the child is going to lose the teeth in their mouth, so why pay to clean them? The truth is that cavities in baby teeth can travel through the gum tissue and the root of the tooth down into the adult teeth that will come through in the future.
If your child gets a cavity that leads to a dental abscess, they could have pain, difficulty eating, and a bacterial infection can lead to death. Your child may also have orthodontic concerns that go without treatment because they haven't seen a dental professional. Cleanings should be completed twice a year, and developing good dental habits at a young age can help improve your child's oral health for a lifetime.
Call your insurance company to find out if you have dental and ocular insurance and to see what specialists are covered under your policy so you can get your children in for appointments right away. There are a lot of different issues that your child could be dealing with when it comes to their smile or their vision, and you want to make sure they aren't struggling because you haven't taken the time to have them properly examined.