While most of us recognize the need for regular dental cleanings and inspections, the truth is that it can be easy to ignore or put off visits. Sadly, while parents want what is best for their children, they are often lax with dental appointments until children get older. After all, some parents reason, there is no reason to go to the dentist until they have permanent teeth! While this reasoning is understandable, it is also wrong! There are a wide range of reasons that children need to see the dentist regularly and proof that these visits will promote better dental care throughout their lives.
How Soon Should Children Visit the Dentist?
The earlier children see the dentist, the better! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies should have had a visit to the dentist by their first birthday or when they cut their first tooth. Although this may seem premature, these visits provide parents with the knowledge necessary to keep their baby’s developing teeth free of cavities while promoting the early start of good habits. Children whose first memories involve having their teeth brushed will be more likely to continue with good oral care throughout their lives.
What are the Benefits of Early Childhood Dentistry Visits?
While dentists can equip parents with the right skills to care for new teeth, the benefits of early childhood dentistry visits are much more extensive than that alone! Children who start out going to the dentist around their first birthday will become familiar with the office and parents can expect reduced anxiety as they get older. Since babies are prone to dental cavities, your dentist can pinpoint areas of concern before they advance, giving parents the ability to use preventative measures such as fluoride treatments. The dentist can also notice problems with bite and provide methods that may make orthodontic treatments less likely in the future.
How Can a Dentist Help a Small Child?
Even the youngest children can start to learn good oral hygiene from their dentist. Your dentist can help your child by teaching them proper brushing techniques and stressing the importance of caring for their teeth. By going to the dentist regularly, children will realize that caring for their teeth is a part of life and will be more anxious to start healthy habits.
What Suggestions Can a Dentist Offer?
Dentists can offer a wide variety of suggestions that will stop tooth decay before it persists, promoting a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. During exams, dentist can help parents understand the dangers of nighttime feedings and promote the use of drinking from cups as children progress in age.
How Serious are Childhood Dental Problems?
If you think that cavities aren’t a serious issue for children, then it’s time to think again! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of all children have tooth decay by the time that they start Kindergarten. Not only are these children at risk for cavities, but untreated issues may lead to more serious procedures such as baby root canals.
Visits to the dentist are an important part of life and should be started as soon as possible! Children are more likely to have better chewing abilities and fewer speech problems when they are regularly visiting the dentist. Not only can trips to the dentist promote better oral health, but they can save both money and suffering in the long-run. By starting your child out with early dental appointments, you can expect to see them lead healthier, happier lives. Don’t put off doing what is best for your baby – set up an appointment today!
If you’re interested in setting up an early childhood dentistry appointment for your child, contact us today for a consultation. We try to make going to the dentist fun, and provide a friendly environment for children to alleviate their anxiety.