Oral disease now affects 3.5 billion people around the world. In fact, over 530 million children suffer from dental caries in primary teeth. Prioritizing your child’s oral health now can benefit them for years to come.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading for the parents’ guide to dentistry for kids!
After reading this guide, you can make more informed decisions regarding your child’s dental health. You can ensure they receive the care they need to avoid cavities, gum disease, and other concerns, too.
Set your child up for success. Keep reading to learn more about maintaining their oral health today.
Their First Appointment
One of the first questions parents ask is “when should I take my child in for their first dentist appointment?”
Try to schedule your child’s first appointment with a pediatric dentist around their first birthday. Visiting a pediatric dentist early on will help them get used to sitting in the dentist’s chair. Ensuring their comfort can keep them from developing dental anxiety in the future.
It can also help you learn more about how to care for your baby’s teeth.
By the time your child turns 2, make sure to schedule their six-month dental visits.
Once they’re between the ages of 4 and 6, you can schedule their first set of X-rays. X-rays will allow the dentist to check for cavities lurking between their teeth. The dentist can learn more about how your child’s teeth are growing in, too.
Between the ages of 6 and 12, it’s important to focus on prevention. Otherwise, tooth decay can develop. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will give way to their permanent teeth.
Around the time your child turns 7, your pediatric dentist might suggest sealant. Sealant is a plastic resin that bonds to the surface of your child’s teeth. The resin can keep cavity-causing bacteria from digging between a tooth’s grooves and valleys.
Once they turn seven, you might want to consider scheduling an orthodontic evaluation, too. Orthodontics can ensure your child’s teeth grow in strong.
Here are a few tips that can help you prepare your child for their first appointment.
Tips During Development
There are a few precautions you can take before your child is old enough to take care of their own teeth.
For example, your child shouldn’t use their baby bottle as a pacifier. Otherwise, their teeth will remain exposed to the sugars in milk and juice.
Try to limit how much juice they drink, too. Juice and fruit contain fructose, which is still sugar. Bacteria feed and thrive off of sugar.
Tooth decay could grow as a result.
Reducing your child’s intake of juice could help protect their teeth.
Make sure your child drinks plenty of water, too. Water can rinse away the sugar from their teeth.
Otherwise, clean your baby’s gums after each feeding using a warm, damp cloth. Cleaning their gum line can keep bacteria from growing and spreading.
Why It Matters
Why is it so important to focus on dentistry from kids while your child is still at a young age?
Most parents think their child’s primary teeth will fall out, so they don’t matter. However, this is a common misconception. Your child’s baby teeth are important to their future oral health.
Maintaining good hygiene will make it easier for your baby to eat and chew. Otherwise, their teeth might move out of alignment. They could struggle to speak and chew as a result.
Cavities, even at a young age, can allow harmful bacteria to linger. They could damage your child’s permanent teeth once they grow in.
Focusing on your child’s oral health now can benefit them for years to come.
Teaching Good Oral Hygiene
Take the time to teach your child good oral hygiene while they’re still at a young age.
First, make it a family affair! Brush your teeth alongside your child. They’ll see you value your oral health and start mimicking in you.
Try using music to make sure your child brushes their teeth for a full two minutes.
You can also benefit your child’s oral health by improving their diet. Encourage them to eat:
- Yogurt and cheese
- Lean proteins
- Leafy greens
These foods can help the body produce more saliva, which can fight germs. Calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals can improve their enamel health and immunity as well.
Make sure your entire family is using the right products, too. Talk to your pediatric dentist about the toothbrush and toothpaste your child should use. Don’t forget to floss!
Finding a Pediatric Dentist
Remember, it’s important for your child to visit a pediatric dentist twice a year. Your dentist will pinpoint any potential problems with your child’s oral health.
Speak with other parents to find a recommendation. Then, check online reviews.
You’ll have peace of mind choosing a pediatric dentist other parents already trust.
Make sure to review each dentist’s credentials. Consider where they went to school and how long ago they completed training. You might want to look for a dentist who prioritizes continuing their education.
Then, schedule a consultation appointment. You can discuss dentistry for kids and make sure the dentist is the right fit.
While you’re at the dentist’s office, consider the environment. Is it kid-friendly? Will your child feel comfortable there?
Finding an office meant for kids can help put them at ease before an appointment.
Talk to the pediatric dentist about preventative measures. For example, they might suggest fluoride treatments. Fluoride can help your child’s teeth become resistant to cavities and tooth decay.
Make sure to find a dentist you’re comfortable with, too.
Were they easy to understand? Did they answer all of your questions? Choose someone who is friendly and knowledgeable.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing a professional cares about your child’s health as much as you do.
Dentistry for Kids: Ensuring Your Child’s Stunning Smile
Understanding dentistry for kids now can benefit your child’s oral health for years to come. Keep these tips in mind. Don’t forget to schedule your child’s first appointment by their birthday, too!
Visiting a pediatric dentist you trust can ensure their teeth remain healthy and bright.
Ready to discuss your child’s oral health with a team you can depend on? We’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule their next appointment.