Dentistry for children includes more than just a dental treatment done on your child. It encompasses an experience where kids develop positive feelings about a dental visit and learn the importance of maintaining oral health.
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Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Parents often have doubts about when their child’s first dental visit should be. Ideally, your pediatric dentist’s job begins with the eruption of your kid’s first milk tooth. It is recommended by both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that your kid’s first dental visit should be within six months of the eruption of their first tooth. It is inadvisable to delay their first visit to the dental office until after age two.
The early introduction of the child to a dentist familiarises them with the dental office. Pediatric dentists usually use this opportunity to educate parents about the proper ways of cleaning their child’s teeth and gums. They may take a look inside your kid’s mouth to make sure the teeth are erupting properly and check for other kinds of pediatric oral issues.
Importance of Positive Dental Experiences Among Children
Going to the dentist is not usually something children look forward to. It is the job of the dentist and the dental office to ensure that the child is treated in a calm and comforting environment that dispels all their fears and apprehensions. The kind of experiences kids have with dentists in their formative years will greatly influence their attitudes towards dental health in the future.
Pediatric dentists are trained to work with children in a manner that allows them to first build a relationship of trust with the kids. When children feel comfortable in the dental office, they are more cooperative with dental treatments and also pay more attention to the importance of maintaining dental health.
Oral Hygiene for Kids
Children should be familiarised with the need for caring for their oral health from a young age. Habits they bring into practice from this age is what they will carry into their adulthood. Both dentists and parents play a critical role in helping children develop these habits. Some reminders for parents are:
- Keep a check on your child’s consumption of sugary and sticky foods. Such foods tend to adhere to the tooth surface, which is consumed by the bacteria in the mouth and production of tooth decaying acids. Even beverages like sodas and fruit juices contain high levels of sugar that can lead to cavities. Parents should remember to clean their child’s mouth after they have consumed such foods. Even a simple rinse of the mouth or drinking a glass of water can help wash away the sticky remnants from the teeth and avoid the development of cavities.
- Young children often need a lot of coaxing to get them to brush their teeth twice a day. Since it is always best to lead by example, let your children watch you brush and floss regularly. You can also play brushing songs and fun videos to get them more interested in the activity.
- Routine visits to the dentist are just as important as dental care at home. Pediatric dentists help keep an eye on developing cavities and can even help in reversing them if caught at an early stage. Other developmental problems in the oral cavity can also be diagnosed through regular appointments with the dentists. These include proper eruption sequence of teeth, alignment of the teeth, gum problems, etc.