When should you take your child to the dentist?
Parents are often worried about their children’s dental health, especially because dental care for kids can be confusing. There are so many questions regarding children’s dentistry, including the do’s and don’ts that surround raising a child with proper oral healthcare. Even parents of toddlers need help understanding what concerns and complaints warrant a visit to a dental clinic.
So, when should you take your child to the dentist?
The very first visit
Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that parents schedule their child’s first visit to see a Pediatric Dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting or by their first birthday. This first visit is not about treating the child, but to check their gums, first teeth, and to see if there are any emerging problems with respect to jaw growth and dental development.
During this visit, your Pediatric Dentist will also conduct a full oral exam. This way they can learn about the health of your child’s jaws, gum, oral tissue, and erupted teeth, and will reveal how your child’s dental health is developing. If your child requires it, the dentist can also gently clean their teeth to remove any plaque and stains, also a positive first visit with consistent environment will help your child build up a positive attitude towards future visits.
A friendly, relaxed relationship with your Pediatric Dentist will help your child feel safe and comfortable. It will also help if parents explain to their child about what will happen during their first dentist visit. Your child will follow your lead, so if you’re excited about the visit and calm at the clinic, your child will be too!
Subsequent visits and their frequency
After the first visit, you should take your child to the dentist every six months. If however, some serious issues come up unexpectedly, you can schedule a visit earlier. Some typical dental issues children face include forming a lisp, grinding their teeth, mouth breathing and cavities.
Your Pediatric Dentist will also monitor your child’s baby teeth for any issues that may affect their adult teeth from properly coming in. For example, sometimes baby teeth do not fall out, which can block the adult teeth from erupting. It can also cause the adult teeth to erupt alongside the baby teeth, leading to misalignment and overcrowding. This is why it is very important to bring your child in for their dental check-ups so your Pediatric Dentist can assure that their oral health and tooth development is progressing smoothly.
Listen to your child
For parents with toddlers or slightly older children, it is important to visit your Pediatric Dentist to look out for complaints and keep up with their daily hygiene routine. Oftentimes cavities can go unnoticed, which will eventually lead towards toothaches, which are a frequent complaint for children of all ages. If despite regular brushing and flossing, your child’s toothache persists, then it’s time to see your dentist.
Regular visits to the Pediatric Dentist include general checkups and x-rays to ensure that hidden cavities are detected and treated early on. Sensitivity and weakness of the teeth can also be diagnosed, and your Pediatric Dentist can provide fluoride treatments to address these issues. A fluoride varnish will be applied to your child’s teeth after their cleaning, which comes in pleasant flavors such as bubble gum and is necessary in order for proper oral health!
Seeing a Pediatric Dentist as your child grows can keep small problems from becoming major dental issues. Being aware of your child’s activities at home and observing their behavior can also help you know when you should take your child to the dentist.
At Dr Joy Dental Clinic, we want to see your child grow up with great oral healthcare habits. Our Pediatric Dentist will work towards creating a lasting bond with your child to ensure that they feel they are in a comfortable and trusted environment. Call us on 800-DRJOY (37569) to book a consultation with one of our Pediatric Dentists or by clicking here.