Good dental care habits in kids start with parents who take the necessary steps early on, ensuring that dental hygiene and oral health care is presented the right way. For instance, wiping down a baby’s gums daily before teeth erupt – and later buying a toothbrush designed for babies and making it a fun ritual – helps improve children’s oral health habits.
Visiting a pediatric dentist early also helps with preventing oral health problems. With an increase in junk food intake, children face more dental health issues than ever. Around 40% of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten, while 60% suffer from preventable tooth decay. Early dental treatment can keep these problems in check!
Benefits of Regular and Early Kids Dentist Visits
The first dental visit should be scheduled by the age of 1, but if your child is not being breastfed or snacking at night, they may not need extensive dental exams till they are two years old. After that, schedule an appointment for full dental check-ups with a pediatric dentist every six months.
Here are the top 4 benefits of scheduling a dentist appointment early:
- Preventive Kids Dental Care – Tooth decay or dental caries is a common chronic disease in childhood. If minor cavities and other issues are ignored or left untreated, they could lead to speaking disorders, pain, gum diseases and infection. The sooner regular dental visits start, the better the chances of developing good oral health and hygiene!
- Better Relationship with Dentists – Early visits to a kids dentist help your child become more comfortable with the staff and doctors there. Children tend to dislike authoritative figures, so don’t just randomly look for pediatric specialists in your area. Instead, choose a dentist who understands your child’s fears and connects with them.
- Professional Oral Health Tips – Maintaining your child’s diet and oral hygiene is important, but it cannot replace pediatric dental visits. A dentist will give you and your child detailed tips on brushing, flossing and eating right, as well as customized advice for your kid’s dental care based on a professional evaluation of their oral health.
- Early Orthodontic Treatment – Scheduling a full orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7 allows your kid’s dentist to identify the skeletal causes of crooked teeth early on and set braces in place to modify the jaw as it grows. Many parents wait till kids are in their teens, but early stage orthodontics encourages better dental development.
Preparing for Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment
Here are some tips to prepare you and your kid for the first visit to a pediatric dentist:
- When it comes to first dental visits, the objective is to get the child used to the whole process of a dental exam and put them at ease with it. Schedule a tour to get comfortable and familiar with the staff and environment.
- Voice your worries and questions during the appointment. If unanswered questions or discomfort are an issue, it’s time to change your kid’s dentist. Choosing the right kind of pediatric dentist for your child is of the utmost importance.
- Stay positive and relaxed around your child before and during the dentist appointment. This creates a better experience and makes every visit more fun for your kid, which helps with positively defining their lifelong dental hygiene.
Chewing over the right time to schedule your child’s first dental exam? Contact the friendly pediatric dentistry team at Dr. Michael G. Long, DDS, and we’ll be glad to help!