When Should Your Child Visit the Kid’s Dentist?
Most parents are unaware of when their kids should start going to the dentist. You’ll find the majority of parents taking their child to the first dental visit when they’re around 4 years of age. However, a dental expert will tell you that this is pretty late since caries and other issues could’ve possibly already developed.
The fact, however, remains that your child should be taken for their first dental visit within 6 months of the first tooth eruption. Additionally, you can always take your child earlier should you just want a routine check-up.
You shouldn’t wait until your child is over a year old. Should they not have a tooth by 12 months, bring them in for a visit.
Which Dentist Looks After Kid’s Dental Health?
The dental professional trained to cater to children’s oral health is called a pediatric dentist. They study undergrad school, dental school, and undergo further extensive training to become qualified.
While a family dentist is also trained to deal with and provide dental care to children, a pediatric dentist is more qualified.
What Are The Benefits Of Early Visits To The Pediatric Dentist?
When it comes to experiencing anxiety when visiting the dentist, around 36% of the population feels the same way. This is why it is imperative to take your child to the dentist early. Getting them accustomed to dental visits early on helps minimize their fear as they grow older, thereby protecting their oral health.
In the initial visits, the pediatric dentist doesn’t poke or prod too much. Instead, they focus on making sure the child feels comfortable around them. The child gets to know the dental staff and familiarizes themselves with the dental office. The early appointments help them get excited about visiting the dentist.
Additionally, these early appointments are also great for parents, dental education-wise. The dentist shows you how to best care for your child’s teeth and gums. They will talk to you about what feeding habits prevent tooth decay. Furthermore, the dentist will also provide recommendations on how to curb pacifiers or finger-sucking.
What To Expect From Your Child’s First Visit To A Pediatric Dentist?
The first visit to the pediatric dentist will be a relatively short one. Depending on how old your child is, not much treatment is necessary on the first visit. Your child will get to meet their dentist in a non-threatening environment. This helps them feel comfortable with visiting the dentist in the future.
If your child is older, they will be asked to sit in the dental chair. However, some dentists will ask parents to hold their children on their laps so the child feels comfortable enough to allow the dentist to examine their mouth.
In their examination, the pediatric dentist will inspect for any signs of decay. If there are no teeth, the gums will be examined. Any potential jaw or gum issues will be assessed.
The dentist might not choose to do full teeth cleaning on a younger child. They prefer to wait until the child is at ease within the dental office before using any intrusive equipment.
Children above the age of 5 or 6 years old get their first dental X-ray. This is because this is the age when the permanent teeth start to erupt. X-rays help determine jaw and tooth development. However, kids with a higher risk of developing dental issues will be digitally examined earlier.
What Questions Can I Ask The Pediatric Dentist?
At the end of your child’s appointment with the pediatric dentist, you get a chance to ask any questions you might have. This is important as it allows the parents to establish a relationship with the dentist. Your child will also be encouraged to ask questions.
Some questions you can ask the pediatric dentist are as follows –
- How can I be sure that my child is receiving adequate nutrition that supports their oral health?
- Would my child require fluoride?
- What should I do if my child knocks their baby tooth out?
- How often should my kids be visiting the dentist?
- What can I do to relieve my infant from pain from teething?
You can also get advice on dental sealants, flossing, loose teeth, etc. as your child grows older.
Six Things You Need To Know On Dentistry For Children
Your Pediatrician Can Address Dental Health
Your child’s pediatrician can address the basic issues about oral health. Most primary care physicians can also apply fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth when they’re around 9 months old. Your child’s doctor is also a great resource to ask for recommendations to an infant-friendly dental office.
Your Pediatrician Isn’t A Substitute For A Dental Expert
While a family doctor can perform a basic oral assessment, their ability is pretty limited. A pediatric dentist is trained to identify early signs of dental issues and provide preventive care to prevent them from progressing.
Early Dental Visits Can Prevent Future Issues
As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, they are at risk of decay and discoloration. A pediatric dentist must keep a close watch because infants can not receive sedation for the treatment. So in their case, prevention is better than cure.
Exposure Builds Comfort
As mentioned earlier, taking your kids to the dentist makes them feel comfortable with the process in the long run. A dentist also works through positive reinforcement – giving children toys and stickers for making their appointment.
Home Dental Care Is Important
A solid dental plan only works when there is dedicated care at home alongside professional help. Children’s teeth should be brushed as soon as they erupt. Use a rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste after 6 months of age. Once they’re old enough to spit, switch to pea-sized amounts. Skip the sugary beverages and bottles during sleep as these can cause cavities.
Don’t Delay The Child Dental Insurance
Like you’re being asked not to delay the dental visit, don’t delay getting the insurance either. Some dental insurance plans might have a limited window with the enrollment period with a limited window. This can delay the start of dental care.
If you’re thinking of visiting Valley Ridge Dental with your kids, schedule an appointment by calling (651) 439-0322.