Toddlers Should See the Dentist Too
Many parents are unsure when the first dentist visit for children should be. A poll conducted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reveals that almost 70 percent of parents first take their children to the dentist about two years later than recommended. Most parents wait until their children are about three years old before taking them to the dentist, but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry all recommend that parents bring their children in for a first checkup no more than six months after the first tooth erupts.
Primary teeth are very important!
Many parents are not aware of how important dental care is for young children. Because baby teeth fall out, many people think that they aren’t very important. The truth of the matter is that healthy baby teeth, also called primary teeth, are critical for children’s development and overall health. Healthy primary teeth enable children to chew properly and thoroughly, facilitating good eating habits.
Teeth are important for developing good, clear speech.
Baby teeth hold a place for permanent teeth, ensuring that they come in properly and line up appropriately.
A healthy smile plays an important role in developing confidence and promoting self-esteem.
If baby teeth are allowed to decay, it can result in severe pain and the premature loss of teeth. The outer enamel of baby teeth is much thinner than that of adult teeth, making them far more susceptible to decay.
Preparing for your child’s first dental visit
During your child’s first dental visit we’ll make it fun and comfortable so we start developing a good relationship together. Your child will have a gentle exam of their teeth and gums to look for early signs of decay, teething irritation, gum disease, and problems associated with thumb-sucking or pacifier use. You’ll learn or review effective techniques for keeping your child’s teeth healthy. The emphasis is on creating a positive dental experience for your child and ensuring that you have all the tools and information you need to keep your child’s emerging teeth healthy.
The following tips will help you make your child’s first visit with us pleasant and effective.
Bring your child in to see us within six months of the eruption of her first tooth, or by the time she is one year old.
Schedule the appointment early in the day when your child is more alert and cheerful.
Don’t give your child the impression that going to the dentist is an unpleasant or painful experience. Your child will pick up on your anxiety, so relax! The first visit will be brief and will not be at all uncomfortable for your child.
When you make the appointment ask what the visit will involve so that there are no surprises. Talk to your child about what to expect if she’s old enough to understand.
Be ready to hold your child in your lap if needed, and have a plan of action for how you’ll handle it if your child gets fussy or upset.
Bring records of your child’s complete medical history with you to the exam.
Your Childrens Dentist Amherst
The hygienists and dentists at New Hampshire Center for Comprehensive Dentistry all love to care for children using extra patience and the time it takes to make a great experience. Our Learning Lab for children is another wonderful way we help your child learn about taking care of their teeth. By scheduling your child’s first dental visit soon after her first tooth appears, you can reduce her risk of developing dental problems and establish positive attitudes and habits that will bring a lifetime of excellent oral health.