Parents are advised to start bringing their children for their first dental visit around the age of twelve months. Toddlers have just a few baby teeth, so why the need for such early intervention? Your kid’s dentist has several reasons why these visits should have an early start.
The first dental visit is more an informational exchange with a cursory dental exam for the toddler. The dentist may allow the parent to be present, even having the toddler sit on their parent’s lap for the child’s security and comfort. Over time, the child feels more comfortable in this atmosphere and the sights and sounds are not something they fear.
During this appointment, the dentist gathers information about the child, such as medical problems. The facts dispensed by the dentist provide information the parent needs to offer the utmost in dental care as their child grows. This information includes facts about fluoride needs, how to prevent dental decay, nutritional benefits, and how to stop or break oral habits that might impede the normal eruption of teeth. Decay prevention is not just about permanent teeth. The baby teeth require protection as they provide the basis for permanent teeth.
Parents with children with special needs (both physical and emotional) may be recommended to see someone in the field of pediatric dentistry. A pediatric dentist has undergone two additional years of training specifically in the needs of children. The dentist’s demeanor and even the office décor are geared toward treating youngsters.
The family dentist is certainly a great place to start. During the initial dental visit, parents are educated about dental decay and how it forms. Prevention starts in early stages … putting your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice can encourage plaque build-up leading to cavities. And keeping baby teeth healthy is critical to the health and formation of permanent teeth.
As baby teeth are lost and permanent teeth start to emerge, the child is totally comfortable seeing the dentist. And with the education gleaned over these earlier years, the child has also learned the importance of keeping their teeth as healthy as possible. Cavities occur from too many sugary snacks and beverages, lack of a proper daily oral hygiene regimen, and infrequent visits to the dentist for a thorough cleaning and dental exam.
Correcting dental decay is unpleasant; prevention is very doable. So call our practice today to get your child in for his or her first appointment!