If you’re considering when a child should go to the dentist, the answer is as soon as their first baby tooth arrives. Though baby teeth aren’t permanent, proper dental health is vital to protect from cavities and other dental issues.
While parents must begin caring for their children’s teeth at home before the teeth erupt, proper dental care is also necessary to protect your child’s teeth. It’s critical to learn when a child should visit the pediatric dentist and how parents can promote healthy dental practices. For more information about these vital topics, contact Lovett Dental Northside at 713-691-5551 today.
When Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
Parents should schedule the child’s initial dental appointment when the first baby teeth erupt. Typically, this will be around the child’s first birthday. Though this may seem like an early start to visit the dentist, this first visit is a critical way to monitor your child’s dental health for tooth or gum decay.
Likewise, dentists use this first visit to check that these teeth are developing and erupting correctly. Keep in mind that many children’s primary teeth emerge as early as six months old, so keep an eye on your child’s teeth to make sure they get to the dentist when they should.
Seeing a dentist early on will help keep your child from experiencing tooth decay. With routine checkups and proper dental hygiene at home, you’ll be able to keep your child’s baby teeth and permanent teeth healthy.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Your child’s very first appointment with the dentist is an important one. This first visit is typically short with minimal treatment. During this appointment, the dentist will introduce themselves to your child, allowing them to feel comfortable around them. During the first visit, many parents hold their children throughout their appointment to keep them calm.
The dentist will check the child’s existing teeth for any decay or damage for this first visit. Likewise, the dentist will monitor your child’s bite, examining them for any problems with their oral tissues, gums, and jaw. In some cases, the hygienist or dentist will clean the teeth.
Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Home
Part of maintaining your child’s dental health starts with proper hygiene at home. At-home dental care varies for adults and children. Parents should care for their baby’s teeth before eruption by cleaning their gums with a damp cloth.
Once teeth come in, parents should use a soft-bristled brush to clean their child’s teeth. When your child is around three years old and capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can use fluoridated toothpaste to brush.
In addition to brushing your child’s teeth, make sure their diet promotes proper dental care. Limit any treats and foods that trigger tooth decay. These foods include fruit leather, hard candies, sweetened juice, and the like. Parents should opt for fresh fruit instead of juice, as juice exposes a child’s teeth to sugar.
The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
When choosing a dentist for your child, be sure to focus on finding a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists spend two more years training in addition to dental school. Pediatric dentistry focuses on child behavior, children’s teeth development, and special needs in children’s dentistry.
While traditional dentists can meet your child’s oral needs, a pediatric dentist focuses primarily on children. Visiting a pediatric dentist’s office designed with children in mind will likely make your child feel more comfortable. Our office is also prepared for any pediatric dental emergency.
Make sure you’re caring for your child’s teeth properly with at-home hygiene and regular dental visits. The best pediatric dentists will care for your child’s teeth as they grow up. Contact Lovett Dental Northside at 713-691-5551 to learn more about our pediatric dentistry services.