It’s no secret that the earlier a child begins regular dental care, the more likely they will maintain those habits into adulthood. One of the best things that parents can do for their child’s oral health is to start the conversations early and normalize visiting the dentist’s office as soon as possible. We’ve compiled a list of some of our most frequently asked questions related to children’s dentistry to help support parents through the early days of dental care for their children.
Why is children’s dentistry important?
One of the most important reasons that a child should go to the dentist is that it starts the evaluation of their oral health early on. It’s important to ensure that your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and strong so that they speak and chew properly as well as maintain good health. Visiting the dentist early will not only help identify any issues as soon as possible, but it will also get kids comfortable with going to the dentist from a very young age. Taking your child to a dentist that is experienced in children’s dentistry will help them feel more relaxed.
At what age should your child begin dental appointments?
It is recommended that children start going to regular dental appointments by their first birthday or within six months after their first tooth erupts. Usually, children get their first tooth by six months of age. If your child is older than this, please don’t worry. It’s still a good time to get regular dental appointments!
How frequently should your child go to the dentist?
A child should go to the dentist every six months, or at least once per year. Your dentist may ask that your child have more frequent visits if there are any concerning issues.
What should you expect at your child’s first dental appointment?
The first dental appointment is intended to be as non-invasive as possible. If the child is an infant, then most of the visit will be focused on talking with the parent about proper ways to take care of baby teeth. The dentist will likely take a peek at the teeth and gums to ensure that there are no alarming issues. Most of this visit is to familiarize the child with the dentist’s office and to provide the parents with an opportunity to ask questions.
What are some children’s dentistry tips for at-home care?
One of the best things that a parent can do for their child is to create an at-home dental care routine. The age of the child will greatly determine what that looks like. Baby: Dental care for a baby is pretty simple. Parents are encouraged to use a cloth to wipe down gums and teeth after feeding. Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle as the milk can build up on their teeth and cause decay. When your child starts teething, offer a cold washcloth or teething ring to help soothe pain and inflammation. Finally, avoid sharing utensils with your baby, as bacteria is transmissible and could cause tooth decay. Toddler: During the early toddler stages, parents should start using a toothbrush with only water to clean their child’s teeth. Be diligent in checking your child’s teeth for any sign of decay. This is a great time to schedule your first dental exam. Once the child turns two years of age, you can start using a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth. You may also start showing your child how to brush their own teeth. School-aged and teens: At this point, your child should know how to brush and floss their own teeth without any assistance. Your child should have a clear understanding of good oral hygiene. Younger children may still need some reminding. However, it is also at this age that children may start to experience more serious dental concerns which may warrant fillings, crowns, or braces. It is incredibly important to continue regular dental checkups during these formative years.
How do you make dental appointments pleasant
Parents can certainly help children have a better time at the dentist. You can do this by always being positive about the dentist. Never use going to the dentist as a punishment. You may want to bring a comfort item that will help your child be more at ease during the visit.
Choose Lifetime Dental Health for Children’s Dentistry
At Lifetime Dental Health, we understand the importance of creating an environment where children want to be. It is critical that children have positive experiences in the dentist’s chair so that they are more likely to continue coming back when they are an adult. We are experienced in children’s dentistry, and we take the time to put our smallest patients at ease in order to feel safe and secure when they visit us. If your little one is in need of a dentist that is kind and compassionate, then please reach out to us. We are excited to work with parents to make this an education and good experience for everybody! Schedule your appointment today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442.