Pediatric dentistry takes a holistic approach to ensuring the oral health of young patients. An important aspect of this approach involves providing guidance to parents.Infants and toddlers cannot take care of their teeth without help. They rely on their parents for oral hygiene. As they grow, children also need their parents to teach and enforce…
Why Is Early Care by a Pediatric Dentist so Important?
If your child has not seen a pediatric dentist, now is a good time to start. Much like going to the doctor for regular wellness checkups, children need to consistently visit the dentist’s office to evaluate their oral health. Neglecting these appointments can lead to serious dental conditions now and in the future. The sooner you can start taking your child to the dentist, the healthier teeth and gums can be.
A typical examination
Like an adult, children should go to the dentist’s office at least once every six months for a routine exam. More frequent visits may be necessary for children who have tooth pain or other issues. At a checkup, the hygienist will take X-rays and clean the patient’s teeth. This will include removing plaque and other buildups as well as polishing teeth. Younger children may get a fluoride treatment as well. The pediatric dentist will also examine the patient and look for signs of decay, gum disease and other conditions.
When to start
Some parents think they have to wait until the child has multiple teeth or even all their baby teeth before going to the dentist. The right time is to start going to the pediatric dentist soon after the first teeth appear. For most children, baby teeth emerge around six months after birth. About six months later is a good time for the first appointment. Initial appointments may be brief, but the dentist will start seeing developing issues and concerns.
Importance of going to the pediatric dentist
The dentist can spot early signs of trouble in a young patient’s mouth. At a wellness checkup, X-rays and examinations may reveal cavities, infections, bite abnormalities, cracked or mishappen teeth, or other conditions. Seeing these troubles at a young age can prevent more serious issues from starting. Also, going to the dentist regularly from the time a child is as young as age 1 can establish important dental habits going forward.
Combine with care at home
It is not enough to take a child to the pediatric dentist every six months. Parents cannot expect the child to have good oral health simply because they had a semiannual cleaning. It is critical that parents help children brush and floss daily. Eating a diet low in sugar will also help keep teeth healthy and strong. Brushing should start as soon as babies have teeth, especially those who may drink from a bottle. Parents should help children brush until the youngsters can do so by themselves without any supervision.
Start young and keep going
Taking your child to the pediatric dentist should be part of the ongoing health care plan. Some parents put off these visits until children are older, but this is a mistake. Make sure your son or daughter is getting the right dental attention, both at the office and at home. Your child’s dentist can also give you advice on how to manage concerns and improve daily habits. Call today so you can schedule your child’s next appointment.
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