Did you know that the earlier your child has regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will be as they grow? Just like you, they need routine dental checkups and cleanings to protect their developing smile from cavities and tooth decay.
Not just for adults
Even your child’s baby teeth are important since they are the placeholders for the permanent teeth coming in behind them. Lack of preventative oral care early on can result in painful teeth, having trouble focusing, chewing, and even talking clearly as your child’s speech develops. Tooth decay in children can lead to a variety of problems, including:
- Dental emergencies
- Missed classes in school
- Lower self-esteem
- Unhealthy tooth development
- Dental anxiety from getting dental fillings
- Poor sleep quality from tooth pain
- Difficulty eating and speaking properly
How often should your child see the dentist?
Once your child’s first tooth erupts, they should be seen by our dentist. Believe it or not, it does not take long for tooth decay to set in, especially if their mouth is not cleaned properly every day. It is important for their teeth to be monitored as they grow to make sure any oral health issues are promptly addressed and corrected. The best way to ensure this is to bring them in every six months for their dental exam.
Avoiding tooth decay in your child’s growing smile can be accomplished by regular dental visits, brushing and the right toothbrush. A good toothbrush fits their mouth perfectly for ease of cleaning and limiting their consumption of sugary or acidic beverages and snacks. The following ages are a general guideline for your child to have their dental exams:
Ages 6 months to 1 year:
Your baby should see the dentist after their first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. At their visit, their teeth and gums will be checked, any oral health issues addressed, and their daily oral hygiene routine assessed and updated.
Toddlers, children and teens:
A good rule of thumb means seeing the dentist every six months unless otherwise indicated. Our pediatric dentist is trained and experienced in oral care for children, no matter their age! Our skilled team and our office are geared specifically towards children to help them have the most positive experiences during their time with us, setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
If needed, dental X-rays or other diagnostics may be taken before reviewing your child’s oral hygiene habits, their general health, what they consume on a daily basis, and their current risk of cavities.
We will also make sure to get rid of unsightly stains or plaque deposits. We might show you (or your child) how best to clean their teeth and gums. Fluoride and dental sealants might be recommended to protect their teeth, and their mouth will be checked for sores or bumps. If needed, cavities will be recommended to be fixed, tooth defects addressed, and their upper and lower bite patterns evaluated. As needed, wearing an oral device or having orthodontic treatment may be recommended to correct teeth or bite problems.
As your child enters their teen years, their still-developing smile needs consistent care. Along with maintaining healthy brushing and flossing habits, good dietary habits, the prevention of other oral habits that can harm their dental health may also be addressed. It might include discussing the dangers of smoking or tobacco chewing, oral piercings, eating disorders that destroy tooth enamel, etc. Having their wisdom teeth removed may also be recommended when your teen is 16 or older.
Schedule their next exam today!
As you can see, your child’s dental exams are crucial to a healthy smile as they continue to age. If your child has not been to the dentist in the last six months, now is the perfect time to have them come in and start their year off right! We are happy to schedule their next appointment for you!