Regular dental care for children should be considered a part of life. Parents are advised to begin taking their kids to the dentist by age one, and establishing it as a lifelong habit. Visiting the dentist shouldn’t be an afterthought or only occur when problems arise; routine dental care must be a priority.
When your child’s first birthday arrives, it’s time to schedule the first dental visit. Any erupted teeth will be examined for decay or other problems, and the dentist will teach you how to properly care for your child’s mouth. Your dentist will discuss issues like thumb sucking, bottles, and sippy cups so you will learn what may or may not hurt your child’s teeth.
Maintaining oral health
Continue taking your child to the dentist every six months, or more often if your dentist recommends it due to higher chance of tooth decay or other risks. Regular checkups involve cleaning teeth to remove cavity-causing plaque, fluoride application to strengthen teeth, and a thorough oral examination. If a cavity needs filling or other procedures are necessary, remember that even baby teeth can require dental work. Cavities may be painful, and healthy teeth contribute to proper eating, speaking, and oral development.
The right dentist
Finding the best dentist for your child goes a long way in making the appointments go well, and promoting a lifetime of comfort about dental visits. You may want to choose a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral care. The offices are designed with kids in mind, and the staff is trained in calming nervous children. Ask if you can bring your child by the office prior to the dental visit to get accustomed to the environment, and plan on staying close to your child for comfort during the checkup. Have a positive attitude yourself about the dental experience, and your good vibes will rub off on your child.