August 22, 2022
Every new parent worries about their child's health and future. They want to know how to check kids' growth and development, or how well their child is doing compared to other children who are in the same age range. Parents keep a close eye on these growth and development milestones to ensure their child is healthy and thriving.
There are five basic areas of growth and development that are important to monitor in a child: physical growth, cognitive development, social development, language, and sensory and motor skills. As a child matures and meets the growth and development milestones, they stay on track for the most part with little to no intervention required. But not all children grow and develop in the same way. They may develop in one key area, but not as much in the other. If a child is missing growth and development milestones, it may be time for a doctor to help monitor and assist the child.
You should consult a doctor if you believe your child is not developing in a natural and predictable way toward each milestone. Discuss any concerns you have with a doctor about your child's growth or certain developmental milestones that may be lacking. A doctor can help if your child is showing delays in several developmental areas, or loses new abilities after achieving them as a developmental milestone. A doctor may be able to identify a reason that a child has not achieved a particular milestone, such as diagnosing a health problem or an emotional issue that may be causing growth and developmental delays. A child who is delayed in language development may have a hearing problem, for example, that must be addressed before the appropriate milestone is achieved.
Your child's dentist knows the importance of kids' growth monitoring. Although a child grows at their own pace, a pediatric dentist can help identify signs of growth and development delay. With early identification of delays, parents have more of an opportunity to find the right treatment for their child to ensure proper development. A child should begin seeing a pediatric dentist as teeth begin to emerge. Regular checks with a pediatric dentist will help prevent dental cavities and gum issues that could become worse if not treated and impact a child's development. For example, a child with pain in the mouth may not want to eat enough to ensure proper physical development.
There are numerous dental issues that can impact how children talk and eat. They can even affect a child's overall physical health. There are certain behaviors and habits that young children do that can impact their dental health, and the development of teeth and jaw. Some behaviors that can threaten your child's dental development are thumb sucking, pacifiers, mouth breathing, teeth grinding and sports involvement. A dentist knows the importance of checking kids' growth and development. A pediatric dentist can monitor whether certain behaviors are jeopardizing development and consider ways to correct the behavior that is problematic for the child.
There can be other growth and developmental issues that your dentist can help detect. In some cases, a pediatric dentist might be able to recommend certain specialists who can help a child manage developmental delays or certain behaviors. For example, a child's nail biting might require behavior modification guidance to help reduce or eliminate the activity. For those children who participate in sports and other physical activities, a pediatric dentist can offer guidance about mouth guards for children, either pre-made or those that are custom-made to fit, and which type is the best for your child's needs.
Baker Pediatric Dentistry specializes in serving parents and their children, including those with special needs. Dr. Thomas Baker and his staff are experienced in monitoring the growth of children's faces, teeth and jaws. They can identify issues before they become more serious by checking kids' growth and development. Baker Pediatric Dentistry also has experience in monitoring orthodontic issues that can become more serious if not addressed.