As parents, you want the best for your children in every way - including their oral health.
Prevention is key when it comes to taking care of your teeth. So, having kids start as soon as they get them is always a wise idea. This early dental care will not only help your child maintain good oral health today but in the future, too.
What Age Should A Child Begin Going to the Dentist?
Children should first attend the dentist around 12 months of age, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. You should make this appointment regardless of how many teeth your child has — even if they don’t have any teeth at all.
Routine appointments with the dentist should then continue to follow every 6 months.
Benefits of Early Dental Care
Getting your child to the dentist early can be highly beneficial. By doing so, you set your child up for success.
- Increase familiarity with the sights and sounds of the dentist
- Get comfortable with the dentist and the dental team
- Growth and development can be monitored as it relates to the teeth and jaw
- Cavity prevention
- Parental education on how to instill good oral hygiene habits at home at any age
Dental Health Issues in Young Patients
There are many common dental health issues that impact kids of all ages — including those who are very young. Routine visits to the dentist can prevent these issues from getting worse or stop them from happening in the first place.
Most dental concerns from the youngest patients stem from tooth decay. Everyone is susceptible to tooth decay regardless of age. In fact, it is one of the most common chronic diseases found in children.
Without treatment, tooth decay can cause:
- Pain, making it difficult to eat, speak, and get a good night’s sleep
- Early tooth loss
Tooth decay can spread and wreak havoc on your child’s mouth. It is just one of many reasons why it is so important to get your child established with a pediatric dentist at an early age.
What to Expect At Your Child’s First Dental Visit
At your child’s first visit, you can expect the dentist to perfect an oral examination of the teeth and gums, as well as the head and neck. Remember, your dentist is monitoring the development of the jaw structure, too.
If needed, x-rays may be taken. And, if your child has any teeth, they will be cleaned and fluoride will be provided. Any concerns will be discussed directly with you — as you will be in the room for the entire visit.
Before the first appointment, it is always a good idea to discuss going to the dentist with your child in a way that they can understand. Stay away from using words that induce fear and, instead, only use words that are positive and comforting.
A great pediatric dentist will always communicate with your child and explain everything. This includes telling them what they are going to do, showing them the tools that will be used, and then proceeding with caution to ensure the comfort of the child.
Need a Pediatric Dentist in Orange County?
When it is time for your little one to begin going to the dentist, you need to find the right one. At Orange County Pediatric Dentistry, our team embraces our young patients with warmth and gentleness. We make sure that every experience is one that can help build a positive foundation for lifelong oral health.