Oral Cancer Screenings: Not Just For Adults

Round Rock, TX, children's dentist offers oral cancer screenings

Your child’s biannual dental visits offer many benefits. They help ensure that your little one is brushing correctly, is cavity-free, and can even monitor for more serious problems. While the likelihood of your young one developing a problem such as oral cancer, is rare it is important to monitor for signs during their exams. Today your Pediatric Dentistry of Round Rock, Texas, is here to explain what we look for and the risk factors for this disease.

What Causes Oral Cancer

Like any other form of this disease, this is typically passed on through genetics. Some risk factors that may increase your chances include a weakened immune system, poor nutrition, and excessive sun exposure. It is important to screen for symptoms at least once a year, which is why this is included in your little one’s checkups. In the event that your child has indicators of cancer, early diagnosis can help treat it sooner.

If you are an adult, this is also your reminder to have these screenings completed as well. Older adults who use tobacco and consume heavy amounts of alcohol are at a high risk of this disease. To keep your whole family safe, we recommend a yearly examination for everyone.

During your child’s biannual appointment, we will do a thorough examination to check for cavities, gingivitis, and cancer. If we notice signs such as red or white patches on the throat, along with persistent difficulty with swallowing and ear or throat pain, we may encourage you to see an oncologist. While there is only about a one in five chance of a patient under the age of 55 having this disease, it is still possible.

Other Benefits Of Biannual Checkups

As mentioned above, your little one’s appointment includes more than a cancer screening. These checkups are essential for monitoring for other problems, like cavities. Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that your child will face. As your kiddo learns how to properly care for their pearly whites, they may have difficulty properly brushing and flossing. This, combined with consuming more sugary foods, will increase their risk of cavities forming.

A checkup will allow us to detect cavities early to treat them. For little ones who frequently have tooth decay, we can offer extra protection with sealants and fluoride treatments. These will shield the teeth from cavity-causing bacteria and strengthen the enamel as well. If they do grow cavities, we will fill them so that the tooth can be repaired and protected from further damage.

Schedule Their Checkup Today

Contact our Round Rock office today at 512-733-5311 to learn more about how we can help protect your family by providing an oral cancer screening for little ones.