Getting a child to the dentist can be challenging. However, if handled properly, it can be a very pleasant experience. Kids form their opinions of dentists from popular culture, friends, and even from their parents. This is why it is so important to ensure children maintain a pleasant, un-frightened view of the dentist. At Randol Mil Family Dentistry, we do everything we can to take the “scary” out of a first visit to the dentist.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit the dentist before their first birthday. This might surprise many parents because it can be before their children even have teeth!
Once your child’s baby teeth begin to erupt, a dental visit is essential. Early visits ensure proper dental care and early formation of at-home dental health habits. Kids can get to know their teeth by using our fun resources designed to instill strong dental habits early
Baby teeth erupt between six and 12 months of age and continue until age three. The experience can be painful for little mouths and teething is often a challenging phase for babies and parents. There are ways to ease the pain, including massage and teething rings.
Most children have 20 primary teeth that are shed throughout their childhood. Permanent teeth begin to arrive around age six and might still be erupting until age 21. Most adults have 28 teeth plus four wisdom teeth.
The sooner your child begins to build healthy dental health habits the better. As a parent, you should begin examining your child’s teeth every other week to look for discoloration or other signs of decay. Help your child make smart food and drink choices, moderating sugary treats and foods that discolor teeth. Ensure your child brushes his or her teeth two to four times each day (ideally after every meal or snack and at bedtime).
If brushing is a challenge, find ways to make it fun. Turn it into a game and ensure your child is using the right tools. Kids should use only soft brushes and just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Fluoride should be avoided for kids under the age of two unless your dentist recommends it. Flossing is also important, but not all kids are ready for it. Your dentist can help you and your child design a personal dental health plan.
Just as you need to visit the dentist for regular checkups, so does your child. Tooth decay in baby teeth can affect adult teeth, so establishing a routine visit schedule early in life is essential. Children should visit the dentist every six months for cleaning and checkups. Tooth sealants are often recommended to seal the grooves in children’s teeth and fluoride treatments might also be included in the visit.