It may not seem important to have your child go to the dentist at such an early age, but the truth is that it is one of the smartest things a parent can do. There are many huge benefits to having early preventive dental care for children as young as age 1.
Preventive Visits Create a Positive Impression
When your child only needs a simple, non-invasive appointment, going to the dentist can seem like fun. This helps them feel relaxed with the staff, being in a dental setting, and gain important knowledge on how to keep their own smile healthy. If a child is only taken to the dentist when they are in pain, then the child is going to think that dental care is always something negative that they want nothing to do with.
Their Teeth Decay Quicker
Suspicious areas on your child’s teeth can easily be addressed with improved oral hygiene, fluoride treatments or even dental sealants. Unfortunately if they are left alone, a cavity can grow very rapidly. From one dental check-up to the next, a tooth that needs a small filling could turn into one that needs pulp therapy and a crown. Baby teeth are less dense than permanent teeth, and when impacted by tooth decay they often decompose at an extremely rapid rate.
When They Do Need Treatment, It Can Be Kept Minimal
Catching problems like cavities early is important. It makes your child’s dental treatment simpler, more affordable, and much more comfortable to complete. We recommend that children have a dental check-up at least every 6 months to monitor their oral health.
Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
One of the most common concerns that parents have for their children’s teeth is when their teeth seem to have very wide spaces between them. The appearance of these gaps becomes something that the parent wants to have checked; to make sure their child isn’t going to have severe orthodontic problems, or is simply just concerned about the way this looks. Many people wind up asking “can we fix this?” or, “can my child have braces put on their baby teeth?” in order to close the spaces between them.
Thankfully, these spaces are a very good thing to have! Your child’s primary teeth are designed to be placeholders for their developing permanent teeth below. Since the permanent teeth are nearly twice the size of the baby teeth, more space is needed. If your child’s primary teeth were all immediately side-by-side, then the permanent teeth might not have enough space in the mouth to erupt properly. This natural space is intended by nature, protecting the eruption patterns of your child’s permanent teeth as they begin to erupt over the next several years.
Extra spacing also helps reduce your child’s risk to to develop tooth decay. Baby teeth develop cavities very easily, so cleaning between them is important. The added space between each tooth helps prevent bacteria and acids from eating into the tooth enamel, causing a cavity.
A true concern occurs when the primary teeth appear all lined up perfectly with no space between them. This can result in crowded permanent teeth, and a higher risk for tooth decay. Early intervention by your children’s dentist or orthodontist is an effective way to encourage proper growth modification and natural eruption patterns.
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
The first impression that someone gives you, or that you make of something, can last an entire lifetime. When it comes to the dentist, it’s important for your child to have a great first experience with their dental care. From selecting the best children’s dentist for your family, to saying or doing the right things, you can help make your child’s first trip one that will have them loving the dentist from here on out!
Bringing your child in for routine dental check-ups and cleanings will help create a comfortable, recurring theme when they go to see the dentist. Waiting to bring the child until they have a severe dental infection will only make them associate dental care with pain. It’s best to have preventive care visits twice each year and schedule treatment to be completed while it is still as small as possible.
Let the dentist do the talking! You may not know it, but even if you’re trying to encourage your child, you could be saying things that alarm them or interfere with the procedure. Using words like “hurt” or “shot”, even if you say “it’s not going to hurt” or “you’re not going to get a shot” can make your child thing about those things, so it’s best to just not even bring them up.
Instead, tell your child how great they’re doing. How well they’re sitting in the chair, how awesome of a job they’re doing by opening their mouth, and maybe even how you’re going to go out for an extra special treat as soon as you leave. Give them something to look forward to, and they’ll be asking to come back again and again!
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
Taking children to the dentist can be tricky, and this is especially true for a child’s first dental visit. Some children find it hard to sit still at the dentist and may behave disruptively, running around or touching things in the dentist’s office. Alternatively, some children can feel anxious or intimidated in new situations or interacting with strangers and will not immediately warm up to the person in the white coat. Furthermore, sharp-looking, noisy dental instruments can be frightening to children who have been known to throw tantrums or have meltdowns once seated in the dental chair.
If you are a caregiver who is planning to take a youngster to the dentist for the first time, here are some things you can do to ensure that your child gets the best out of his or her treatment and the visit goes as smoothly as possible.
1) Choose a kid-friendly dentist
Some dental practices are more kid-friendly than others. You can call beforehand to find out what amenities the dental practice offers for kids, e.g. kids waiting room/play area, stickers, child-sized dental chairs etc. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist rather than to a general dentist is recommended since pediatric dental facilities provide child-friendly environments, and the dental staff is trained to work with children.
2) Orient the child beforehand
Calmly discuss the upcoming visit with your child. This will satisfy your child’s curiosity and also help them to feel prepared. During a first visit, the dentist will usually do a physical examination, take x-rays, and perhaps do a dental cleaning. Let your child know what will be expected of them. Also, prepare your child to like the dental practitioner by painting the dentist as a nice person who likes children. Build up positive associations in your child’s mind so that dental visits don’t seem scary or even that big of a deal. Some dental practices offer office tours and taking the child on one beforehand is a good way to orient them to the new environment.
3) Communicate with the dentist
Let the dental staff know up front of any allergies your child has, as well as any habits that might affect their oral health e.g. thumb sucking. You should let the dentist know of any concerns you have regarding your child’s ability to receive dental care.
4) Stay with your child
It’s important for parents to stay in the examining room with younger children. This allows you to offer moral support and be a comforting presence for your child. By staying in the examining room, you’re also able to observe the dental staff in action and make sure you are comfortable with the way care is being delivered.
If you’ve ever had a child with a cavity that needed to be filled, you’re probably asked “Why? Isn’t that tooth going to fall out anyway?” This is a wonderful question that most parents have asked to their child’s dentist. While baby teeth are made to eventually fall out, they also play an important role in the development of the permanent tooth forming underneath.
Baby teeth act as a placeholder for the tooth underneath. When a tooth is lost prematurely, the adjacent teeth can shift into the space, making it too small for the underlying tooth to erupt into. This causes crowding or impacted teeth requiring orthodontic intervention to correct. In some cases where the tooth is decayed too badly and must be extracted, a temporary space maintainer should be put in place.
Because baby teeth are less dense than permanent teeth, they decay at a much faster pace. Even a small cavity that is not addressed early on can quickly become an abscessed tooth requiring treatment involving the nerve and the placement of a temporary crown in order to retain the tooth. Early intervention allows treatment to be smaller and less expensive.
When decay is left untreated, it can cause the dental infection to spread into the area of the permanent tooth as well as other areas of the body. In rare cases, dental abscesses that are not treated can contribute to other conditions such as pneumonia, endocarditis and abscesses of the brain.
The best way to prevent severe dental problems in your children’s teeth is to have them checked early on and regularly to address any needs. Young children should be seen by a pediatric dentist. The AAPD recommends a dental screening for your child by age 1 or when the first tooth erupts.
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