Child dental care
There are many parents out there who simply do not realize the importance of child dental care even for young children. And there also seems to be misinformation out there that until permanent teeth start to come in or are already all the way in, getting your child to a dentist is a pleasant nicety but not a requirement. That is absolutely not the case, as making sure that your child has early and regular access to dental care for kids can be a major game-changer when it comes to their long-term oral health and helping to prevent a wide variety of orthodontic problems.
Let’s take a moment to see what the experts have to say on the topic of the importance of early pediatric medicine.
For decades, pediatric dentists have been recommending that children should have their first dental examination no later than 12 months of age (Volpato LE et al., 2013). You might think this is a little early but it’s really a recommendation for getting your child off to a great start.
Research shows that this age is the best time to assess oral growth and development (Volpato LE et al., 2013). Even though their milk teeth are just coming in, the adult teeth will follow and you want to have a good foundation set.
Dentists can provide age-appropriate injury prevention counseling, and counseling for oral habits and cavity prevention (Volpato LE et al., 2013).
Dental care for children
As you can see from that very first quote, experts say you should not wait to 12 years of age, but rather 12 months of age for your child’s first dental visit. That means the first time your child ought to visit a dentist is before their very first birthday!
There are a whole host of reasons why this is important but let’s start off with a simple one: preventable problems. The fact of the matter is that problems that may come in later as children’s teeth develop are oftentimes very noticeable and obvious now. Even making sure the baby teeth come incorrectly can be important for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which meaning the comfort of your child. Misaligned teeth can be an unpleasant process for children, and especially for new parents, they may not know what to expect.
If your children’s teeth are not coming in correctly or at all, then that is going to be a problem both for you and for your little one. However, by visiting a pediatric dentist early you can find out if there are any issues, and if they are issues, what can be done about them. By visiting early you can find out about problems early and this can help alleviate any discomfort your child may have as well as any of your concerns about your child’s oral health.
Kids dental care
Another important reason to make sure that your child gets regular kid’s dental care is to make sure that visiting the dentist is something your children are comfortable with. Many adults who are frightened of going to the dental office were likely children who were not regularly exposed to the dental office. These new experiences can be frightening for children if not done regularly and from a young age.
While it may seem strange, something as simple as just visiting a dental office even if they are not having any serious procedures done can make a big difference in their long-term oral health. People who are comfortable with visiting a dental office as children are far more likely to visit that same office when they need assistance as adults. Conversely, people who are resistant to visiting a dental office are oftentimes the same individuals who let problems fester and leave them alone until they become dangerous and expensive.
By visiting dental care for kids office early, you can help set your child up for a lifetime of dental success by helping them see that visiting the dental office is not something that needs to be frightening or avoided but rather something that can be fun and they can even look forward to it.
Dental care for kids
Another major reason why visiting your dental office for child dental care can be important especially at a young age is because many dentists know how to make learning about oral care fun. Many dental offices have great and fun staff that sometimes even do things like offer prizes for lost teeth, raffles, or giving away fun little free things like little toys, children’s toothbrushes, or flavored floss. While it may seem small to us as adults, to children all of this is absolutely amazing.
Your dental office is not merely a place where your child can get examinations and their teeth cleaned, it is a place where they can learn about the importance of oral health and orthodontic medicine. Many children love asking questions about the tools, the models on the wall, and finding out more about children’s oral health. Not only can this make it so that getting dental care for children later is something that they look forward to or understand the importance of, but it can even spark a lifelong love of learning with many children who had great experiences at the dental office wanting to become dentists themselves later in life.
Children’s oral health
The last but certainly not least reason to make sure that you visit your dentist early with your child is something we alluded to earlier, and that is preventative kids dental care. Adult teeth will be visible on x-rays long before the first one ever is visible to you or your child. Because of this, dentists will have a good idea of how the teeth are coming in and whether they will all come in correctly and straight. If a history of bad teeth runs in your family, then it is even more important to make sure that you bring your child in early to have regular dental care for children’s check-ups as this can help prevent issues from going unnoticed. The truth is it is far more affordable to fix issues in young children and to address them sooner rather than later when they have become permanent issues.
Many parents who may not have a background in dentistry or medical practice, question if and when they should take their children to a dentist. Many don’t know the importance of pediatric dentistry and why children should visit a dentist at an early age when their primary teeth are going to fall out anyway.
These questions and more can plague a parent and may cause the parent to put off taking their child to a dentist as recommended by the American Dental Association. The ADA and other dental groups recommend that a child’s first visit should be at about 6 months of age or after the first teeth erupt, but no later than 12 months of age.
A child’s first dental visit is so much more than that day, but it is a good foundation for the child’s future. Additionally, during this visit the dentist will provide the parents with relevant information necessary for the protection of the child’s teeth and for maintaining good oral health. This includes such information and advice as the correct use of baby bottles for feeding and preventing tooth decay. A pediatric dentist will also provide parents with information on appropriate infant feeding practices and what to avoid.
Additionally, the dentist can provide information about mouth cleaning, teething, and what to do to make these important aspects easier for parents and their children. This is a time when many children can develop bad habits such as finger sucking, which can lead to complications and dental alignment problems in the future.
The dentist will provide parents with methods to combat these bad habits and will also educate patients on potential problematic habits like prolonged pacifier use.
Volpato, L. E., Palti, D. G., Lima, J. E., Machado, M. A., Aranha, A. M., Bandeca, M. C., Pedro, F. L., & Borges, A. H. (2013). When and Why Parents Seek Dental care for children under 36 Months.Journal of international oral health : JIOH, 5(4), 21–25.