One of the common reasons that parents first bring their children to the dentist is due to toothaches or suspected cavities. Unfortunately, by the time a parent or child notices a cavity on the tooth, it is often so large that it has infected the majority of the healthy dental crown, or even the nerve of the tooth.
By scheduling early, routine dental care for your child, your dentist can identify areas of weakened tooth enamel or small areas of decay long before they become problematic. Diagnostic x-rays can also detect small cavities between the teeth that are not visible even in a thorough clinical examination.
Treating decay at its earliest stages will preserve the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure, keeping the filling as small as possible. This also prevents emergencies later on that are associated with large cavities, such as abscessed teeth and toothaches. Smaller cavities are more economical to treat, and prevent decay from jumping to adjacent teeth.
Unfortunately, baby teeth decay at a much faster rate than permanent teeth. The enamel is just less dense and more susceptible to decay. For the best outcome, small cavities should be treated as quickly as possible. Even though these teeth will eventually fall out, your child will have several baby teeth until as late as 12 years of age. The role these primary teeth play is an important one, as they act as guides and placeholders for the developing permanent teeth underneath. Losing a tooth due to decay will cause complications in your child’s eruption patterns and cause orthodontic complications later on.
The ADA and pediatricians recommend that your child is seen by the dentist no later than their first birthday. Schedule a check-up for your child today!
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
Early dental care for your child can help them establish a proper oral care routine that prevents many dental diseases and infections later on in their childhood. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that all children see a dentist by their first birthday, or when their first teeth erupt, whichever comes first. By the time a child is 3 or 4 years of age, they may already have developed large areas of tooth decay or abscesses that could have been prevented. Early dental disease sets the tone for the rest of their dental health, and can damage their developing permanent teeth.
Your child’s first visit will most likely be relaxed and a chance for them to explore the office, meet the staff, and understand what goes on during a dental exam. Most of the appointment will probably just include talking between the dental provider, the parent and the child. The actual exam (or even cleaning and x-rays if the child is willing) will only take a few minutes.
Most children enjoy trying on a pair of gloves, holding the dental mirror, and pretending to be the dentist! At recurrent visits, the child will learn to go back for treatment like a big kid, and have preventive procedures performed while their parent relaxes in the reception area. Even children that are very apprehensive typically tend to be very cooperative when they are given the chance to independently “go to the dentist” on their own. However, the parent is welcome at any time to check on their child or stay with their child if they like.
If you’ve waited a little longer than what is recommended, don’t worry! It’s never too late to catch up on your child’s dental care.
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
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