Learning how to properly care for teeth and gums starts when kids are young. The more solid the foundation becomes during these early years, the greater the chance your child will have lifelong healthy teeth and gums.
Placing value on pediatric dental care is a must. Here is what you need to know about it.
When Your Child Should See the Dentist
It is common for many parents to bring their child to the dentist when they are about 3 or 4 years old — sometimes older. At this time, most show up with cavities, plaque buildup, and toothaches. Truth is, kids should be seeing the dentist much earlier than this.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should have their first dental visit within 6 months of getting their first tooth or by the time they are 12 months old. Kids develop at different ages so even if no teeth have erupted by the first birthday, it is still time to make an appointment with a pediatric dentist.
If your child is over the age of one and has not seen the dentist yet, now is the time to make that appointment.
What To Expect At Your Child’s Dental Appointment
Most dental appointments for children are less than an hour. This provides the dentist plenty of time to examine your child’s teeth and gums, looking for signs of inflammation, decay, or plaque buildup.
Because young patients are growing and developing, pediatric dentists will monitor this, keeping an eye on bite alignments. If needed, early orthodontic care can be recommended to ensure proper growth — and reduce the risk of bigger issues later.
These visits present the perfect time for asking any questions or bringing up any concerns you may have. And don’t be surprised if the dentist or hygienist takes time to offer good tips and tricks for at-home oral health care.
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are dental specialists who have gone through additional training to know how to best meet the oral health needs of children.
They provide a space where kids can feel welcome and provide them with the attention that will enhance their overall dental experience. What’s more, pediatric dentists are equipped with the tools necessary to handle little teeth inside little mouths.
Pediatric dentists offer many different services to meet the needs of their patients, from toddlers to young adults. These include:
- Teeth cleanings
- Flouride treatments
- Dental sealants
- Dental fillings
- Root canals or pulpectomies
- Emergency dental services
- Teeth whitening
- Interceptive orthodontics
They offer treatments to prevent oral health issues and they offer restorative services to clear infection, inflammation, and decay. Many pediatric dentists offer sedation dentistry in order to provide a calm and peaceful dental experience. And, finally, most pediatric dentists have training in working with special needs children.
Tips for Great Pediatric Dental Care
Below are a few tips to provide your little one with great pediatric dental care.
- Get connected with an experienced pediatric dentist
- Make at-home dental care engaging — and consistent
- Let your child participate in selecting an age-appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste
- Teach the importance of proper dental care at home
- Reward good habits
Of course, one of the best tips for successful pediatric dental care is to visit the dentist routinely every 6 months.
Pediatric Dental Care in Orange County
Orange County Pediatric Dentistry offers dental services to young patients in and around the Orange County, NY area. This dental team has the training and experience to provide exceptional and extensive dental services to kids of all ages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should my child get dental sealants?
Dental sealants cover the crevices of a tooth and seal it off from food and plaque. This reduces the risk of cavities. They are commonly used in preventative dental care – and most dentists will recommend dental sealants for kids.
Should I sedate my child for dental work?
Sedation dentistry helps calm children who are nervous or anxious about their dental treatments so that they may have a better overall experience. If your child is apprehensive of their dental procedure, talk to your pediatric dentist about sedation options.