“But they are just baby teeth!” We’re sure you’ve heard it before – but it’s important to know that the sooner children are introduced to regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will be. Those are healthy habits that form and last their entire life. Baby teeth do matter, and caring for teeth properly should be a life-long endeavor.
Early dental checkup appointments help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to serious health problems. Having a painful tooth or mouth problem could have severe implications for chewing and learning to speak clearly in a young child. Those are just several reasons to have your child’s new teeth checked early and regularly.
How soon should my child have their first dental visit? The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that every child should visit a dentist by age 1. That means that about the time the first tooth appears, you should make an appointment for a “well-baby visit.” This appointment is for you—the parent— just as it is for them, as it will teach caregivers how to gently brush a baby’s teeth and gums and help them remain cavity-free.
The dentist will also remind you of a few things you may have heard of but forgotten. For example, many new parents put their children to bed with a bottle of milk or juice without realizing this can cause serious tooth decay. (Water should be given as a replacement if a child needs a drink to soothe themselves to sleep). New parents are also concerned about teething pain and other issues—and we are here to help!
Did you know: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 40 percent of American children have decay by the time they reach kindergarten. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States and is entirely preventable.
Healthy habits start today. Many people forgo regular dental care because they do not make it a habit throughout their lives. By introducing children to dental cleanings early, it will establish good dental care as an important part of their daily lives and begin a healthy habit that will last them a lifetime.
How we make dental visits fun: We love to see small children in our office, and we take special care to provide an age-appropriate experience for the child. For example, very small children can sit it their parent’s laps, or be held during the check-up. We can do a very thorough exam in very little time for our littlest of patients, and we also make a point of ensuring the child’s comfort with explanations of what we are doing and why. Visiting the dentist should be something your child remembers as painless and fun. We ensure that each child has a positive experience because it will mean a healthier mouth and teeth for that patient for the rest of their lives.
Would you like more information on our dental cleanings for toddlers? We would love to explain the process and how we make dental visits for the little ones fast, fun, and pain-free! Contact us today to schedule your appointment.