Did you know around 20 percent of kids ages 5-11 have untreated decay in at least one tooth? Book a dental appointment for your child so that you can prevent oral health problems.
If you want more tips on dental care for kids, we can help. In this guide, we’ll go over when you should bring your child to the dentist.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Is It Time to Book an Appointment?
Some dentists recommend that you get your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth appears.
Usually, you’ll see a tooth when a baby turns six months. Don’t wait until your baby turns one to make their appointment.
Also, if you notice anything abnormal in your child’s mouth, you should call the dentist right away.
Prevent Tooth Decay
As you read earlier, tooth decay affects a lot of young kids. You can catch tooth decay early and treat it before it becomes a significant problem.
Your dentist will treat these issues even if your child’s young. A pediatric dentist will look for tooth injuries, decay, and any other issues. The dentist will keep track of any changes as well.
Find a Reputable Pediatric Dentist
Some parents will bring their children to their dentist. You should consider bringing your child to a pediatric dentist.
Pediatric dentists specialize in kids’ dental care. The dentist will also have training on how to make the experience relaxing and fun for the child.
Also, the pediatric dentist will have special-sized equipment for tooth exams. Exam rooms at a child’s dentist’s office will be brighter and more appealing to young kids.
The office might have toys for the child to play with before the appointment.
Primary Teeth Are Important
Some parents don’t bring their children to the dentist because they don’t have enough teeth or are too young.
Yet, your child needs to keep their primary or baby teeth in place and lose them naturally. Primary teeth are essential for a child’s speech development. Primary teeth help a child chew nutritious food well.
Baby teeth are critical for a child’s lifelong oral health condition. As a parent, you’ll want to educate your child about proper brushing and flossing.
Bringing your child to the dentist while they’re still young will encourage them to maintain their oral health.
What to Do If Your Child’s Nervous
Before bringing your child to their first appointment, you’ll want to prepare them. You want your child to feel excited and curious about the visit.
If your child can’t speak yet, they will still pick up on your body language and tone of voice. Aim to be happy about going to the dentist, so your child will too.
Bring a few of your child’s favorite toys to help them feel comfortable if they become nervous.
You’ll also want to talk to your dentist ahead of time. Ask them if they can recommend anything to help your child feel more relaxed.
What Should You Expect For the First Appointment?
Dentists will have their way of dealing with younger patients. Yet, the initial dental visit will have some things in common no matter the clinic.
The dentist won’t do a lot of cleaning on the first visit if your child doesn’t have many teeth.
The dentist will examine your child’s gums, oral tissues, teeth, and jaw during the appointment. They will also make sure that everything is forming in the right spot.
The dentist will polish your child’s teeth or tooth and remove any plaque near the gums. Your child might need an x-ray done if there are cavities present.
You will be able to stay with your child during the appointment. Your child will look to you in this strange environment.
If your child does cry or doesn’t sit still, work hard to remain calm. A lot of dentists will know to expect this kind of behavior from a child. Try to make the dentist appointment as positive and relaxed as possible.
Once the dentist is done the exam, they will go over some dental cleaning techniques to try at home.
Will the Appointment Be Long?
An initial dental appointment for your child won’t be too long. The first appointment tends to last around half an hour. The pediatric dentist doesn’t want to appear intimidating to your child.
A shorter visit will be less intense. Your child will trust the dentist and understand what to expect next time.
Children should head to the dentist every six months. Some parents may choose to bring their child to the dentist every three months. This way, the child can begin to build a relationship with the dentist.
If your child is fussy or upset during their first appointment, don’t worry. Try again in a few months.
Are you wondering what the signs are to look for when you need to book an appointment? Visit here to learn more.
Now You Know When to Book Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
We hope this guide on children’s dentistry was helpful. Book your child’s first appointment as soon as you see teeth appear.
Make sure you talk about the dental appointment beforehand in a happy manner. The dentist won’t spend long with your child but will look for any abnormalities. They might recommend different oral health techniques.
Want some more helpful parenting tips? Check out our parenting section on the blog.