Parents may wonder if their children need to see a children’s dentist as often as mom and dad see their general dentist, and the answer is yes! Children should receive routine dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year, just like grown-ups do. Also, a child should first be evaluated by a dentist no later than the child’s first birthday. This allows the dentist to assess a baseline from which the child can be monitored for any issues of concern.
Your children’s teeth can accumulate plaque and tartar just like yours do, and they may even be at greater risk for doing so, since children are just beginning to master good brushing and flossing technique. In fact, tooth decay is one of the most common childhood illnesses and even a common reason for children to miss school. When your child checks in regularly with a children’s dentist, the professional cleanings by the hygienist will help to reduce cavity-causing oral bacteria, and the dentist can treat any cavities in their earliest stages to avoid major problems developing from advanced decay.
It’s also valuable for your child to see a children’s dentist on a regular basis to establish that relationship and to reinforce the idea that going to the dentist doesn’t have to cause anxiety or dread.
In addition to making sure that your child sees a dentist twice a year, parents should teach the child how to maintain an effective oral hygiene regimen at home. Make sure that you’re reviewing proper brushing and flossing technique so that your child is able to clean the teeth and gums thoroughly. You should be a good role model and demonstrate that you take oral hygiene seriously, too. You may want to consider making brushing and flossing time a family affair if your bathroom can accommodate it!
Is your child seeing the dentist every six months? If not, they should be! Call our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.