In many ways, a child’s dental health needs are distinct from those of adults, yet there is some overlap in the primary concerns and recommendations for routine and preventive care. Children who develop good oral health habits at an early age are more likely to carry those habits into adulthood, and setting the foundation for a healthy smile during childhood will yield benefits for decades to come.
Helping your child to establish a relationship with an experienced pediatric dentist can lead to long-term benefits for your child’s oral health. The general recommendation is for children to visit the dentist when the first tooth emerges, and no later than the child’s first birthday. Just like adults, children should visit the dentist every six months.
It can seem logical to delay dental care for children, since they will lose their baby teeth. Although a child’s first set of teeth will fall out eventually, it’s still important to take good care of them while they are in the mouth. The baby teeth are placeholders for the permanent teeth, so losing them prematurely can cause issues for the eruption of the permanent teeth.
A children’s dentist can monitor your child for signs of issues like decay or gum disease that can lead to premature tooth loss. Observing patterns in the rate of growth in the upper and lower jaws is also important for children, as uneven jaw growth can create orthodontic issues in older children.
At the same time, a pediatric dentist also specializes in caring for children, who may need gentler techniques and treatments than adult patients. This can be very important in overcoming a child’s natural fear of the unknown in the dental appointment.
Children also may need to be eased into oral hygiene habits. For example, the parent may start to brush a baby’s teeth with just a soft toothbrush and water. The next step is adding toothpaste, and floss will also be introduced at a later date. Eventually, the child will be old enough to take on his or her own oral hygiene routine.
Make sure that your child sees a children’s dentist by his or her first birthday. Our specialists at Dental Depot are qualified and experienced in addressing the unique dental needs of pediatric patients.