Our patients often ask us when they should start bringing their children to the dentist. Many parents are surprised when we tell them that we want to see their kids as soon as they sprout their very first tooth!
While baby teeth do (usually) only last a few years (5-12 depending on the child and the tooth), having your child start their routine 6 month visits early is particularly important—not just to those baby teeth, but for their long-term dental health!
Here are a few reasons it is important to start dental care early.
Don’t be scared! Many of our adult patients are scared of dental visits, or have anxiety, and some delay important treatment just for that reason. Seeing children early and on a regular schedule, helps them become acclimated to the process, the staff, and the sounds andsmells of a dental office.
Cavities are never good. Cavities in baby teeth are very hard to fill and uncomfortable for the patients. However, leaving them unfilled could cause problems that lead to broken teeth, gum disease, trouble talking, and eating. Routine dental care helps monitor and check the teeth for signs of plaque build-up before cavities are a problem.
Identify problems early. Routine dental care can help identify problems in the mouth early. If a patient does not have room for incoming teeth, or if a tooth is missing, the dentist can put together a plan for to properly align teeth from the start.
Routine Wins. One cause of bad teeth is that proper oral hygiene is part of the patient’sr routine. Brushing at least twice a day works when it’s a regular part of someone’s day, becoming habit. Routine dental checkups are the same way. Set your child’s routine now, and they will develop the health habit of getting their check-ups twice a year.
Technique. Sometimes parents and small children (and teens too) need help learning proper brushing. Our dental staff can help teach the parents and the children how to carefully and thoroughly brush and floss even the smallest teeth.
Baby teeth do matter. As soon as the first tooth erupts, make an appointment. It will just take a few moments, but it will make a difference in your child’s entire life to put a priority on their dental care. Baby appointments are done with the infant or toddler sitting on the parent’s lap, and our hygienists are trained to provide gentle care and take cues from the children, while giving them the exam and cleaning the teeth and gums.