Besides running a busy family dentistry practice, Dr. Rita Peck, Dentist at Gilbert Vista Dental Care helps her local School District to meet the mandate of performing dental screenings on all students by the second grade.
“Each year, I screen hundreds of children in the Gilbert Unified School District for early signs of tooth decay, and send a note home to the parents letting them know their child has received a screening and if there is any reason for them to seek further dental care for their child at this point.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), tooth decay affects children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems; such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
Dr Peck explains, “Many parents think that a child’s primary teeth aren’t as important as their permanent teeth; after all, they’re going to fall out. Most of the time when children have baby teeth, from the age of six, even younger than that on, they also have permanent teeth in their mouth. When you have rotting baby teeth it causes the bacteria to transfer from the rotting baby teeth to the permanent teeth.”
A study by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research indicates that while cavities in primary teeth of children had been on the decline from the 1970’s to the mid 1990’s, the most recent (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, shows that this trend has reversed: and that this trend reversal was more severe in younger children.
The study echoes Dr. Peck’s suggestion that early detection and preventative measures are paramount in keeping teeth and gums healthy in both, children and young adults. A dental screening is an important part of preventive health care.
During a dental screening, Dr. Peck examines the teeth and identifies gum inflammation or the need for early orthodontic intervention. She then evaluates the risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health problems, as well as checks the face, neck and mouth for abnormalities.
“My daughter was only 4 when she started seeing Dr. Peck regularly. We were shocked to find she had a cavity at a recent visit. Because it was caught early, Dr. Peck was able to correct it using a sealant and make suggestions about our oral hygiene routine that will help prevent further issues.” – Ken Sherman, Patient
“Early intervention is the key”, said Dr. Peck. “I know the work I’m doing with the school district is making a difference in so many ways to keep children happy and healthy. And it’s a great way to give back to my community”.
Dr. Peck is a family dentist in Gilbert, Arizona and is also trained in orthodontics.
To learn more visit. www.DrRitaPeck.com.