Parenting has many responsibilities, with one of the most important being teaching your children how to care for themselves. One important aspect of that care is the importance and practice of looking after one's teeth. Dental health is something that is often taken for granted but setting up your child with a robust oral hygiene routine and an understanding of the benefits of taking care of their teeth will make them more likely to enjoy better dental health in the future.
An established oral hygiene routine is essential if one is to retain an attractive, functional smile. It is also important for one's general health since poor oral hygiene and dental problems have been proven to be a contributing factor in the development of a number of medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
Pediatric dentistry services, offered by your dentist, are invaluable in helping to keep your child’s teeth in the best health possible. Here is what you need to know about pediatric dentistry and what it can do for your little ones.
When should I start taking my child to the dentist?
The exact age at which a child will cut their first tooth can vary widely. In most cases, the infant's teeth begin to erupt between 4 and 6 months of age. However, it is not unheard of for a baby to be over a year old before their teeth begin to appear. In very rare cases, babies have even been born with their first tooth already cut! Most dentists that offer pediatric services recommend that you start taking your child to the dentist as soon as they cut their first tooth. These initial visits will involve a brief look into your infant’s mouth to check that the teeth look healthy and in the right position.
However, by the time your child is two years old, they should be able to sit in the chair for a dental examination.
Many children who are fearful of the dentist have developed their anxiety as a result of a phobia passed down from their parents, or because the environment and process are unfamiliar which is why the sooner you get your little one used to visiting the dentist, the less frightened they are likely to be which can make appointments much easier and more pleasant for everyone involved.
Pediatric dentistry services
Many pediatric dentistry services are not all that dissimilar to the services that we receive as an adult. However, there are additional elements that uniquely apply to children. Exactly what pediatric dentistry services your dentist provides will vary, but typically you can expect:
Regular appointments for dental check-ups (often family block appointments are available so that you can have all of your
children seen at once for added convenience)
Cavity risk assessments
Professional cleaning including any fluoride
treatments deemed necessary
Early assessment for potential orthodontic involvement should
your child have teeth that are in poor alignment or an over/under/crossbite
Care and management for gum issues, including impacted teeth that have not erupted
as they should
Assessment for issues such as bruxism (teeth grinding)
Support with behaviors that affect your child’s dental health,
for example, sucking their thumb or using a pacifier
Support with an eruption of secondary teeth including managing
overcrowding and failed eruptions
General advice on nutrition and proper brushing techniques
As a responsible and loving parent, you are committed to both your child’s dental health and ensuring that they receive the care and compassion that they deserve from their dentist. By choosing a pediatric dentist, you can ensure that they will receive treatment from a professional who understands and is experienced in dealing with young people of all ages. Your pediatric dentist will know how to speak to and explain things to your child in ways they will understand and will have developed tools and techniques for making the entire experience in their offices as relaxed and calm as possible.
For more information on pediatric dentistry services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.