Many parents take their children’s oral health for granted. Most parents in the United States do not bring their children to a dentist until they are at least two years old or so, but it is actually best to take the child to see a pediatric dentist at age one or as soon as they start getting their baby teeth.
The Importance of Primary Teeth
The common misconception about baby teeth is that they do not matter – the child’s baby teeth will fall out eventually anyway – so children do not need to go to a pediatric dentist. But these baby teeth are essential to the proper development of speech, facial structure, and the whole mouth in preparation for adult teeth. Kids who begin receiving dental care later show a higher risk of plaque buildup and cavities than those who started earlier.
More often than not, parents do not know the proper way of brushing the child’s baby teeth. They also may not know the kind of toothbrush that should be used, or whether a certain type of toothpaste is better than others. Your dentist will explain all of these in an easy-to-understand way so you can ensure optimum oral health for your child.
A Child’s First Dentist Appointment
Once a child is 12 months old, or as soon as their first tooth erupts, it is time to take the child to visit a dentist. From there, it is recommended for children to go back to the dentist every six months, or whenever an oral issue occurs.
The first visit should attain these three goals:
- The dentist will assess the child’s teeth and mouth structure
- Get the child familiarized with going to a dentist’s office
- Have the child understand that dental health and regular dental cleanings are important
Gaining the child’s trust is a must for the dentist during this visit. Aside from building rapport with the child, the dentist will also engage you by talking about proper dental hygiene and other tips for oral care for your child.
Teaching Your Child the Importance of Dental Care
The sight of any dental equipment must not threaten your child – explain that they are tools to help keep our mouths healthy. Giving your child a sneak preview of how standard teeth cleaning and checking is conducted will help to make the child comfortable with the dentist.
You can also show the child pictures of teeth that are well taken care of and teeth that are not very well taken care of, thereby illustrating the importance of brushing and flossing every day. It also reinforces the importance of having their teeth regularly checked and cleaned by a professional.
Family Dentistry in Las Vegas
Here at Dedicated Dental, we care about you and your whole family’s oral health care. Our team of dental professionals can help you give your child a healthy and happy smile starting at a very young age.