Most people are unsure about when it is appropriate to take their child to a pediatric dentist. It is a natural way to feel. Children do not even have teeth during the first few months of their lives, so a trip to the dentist’s office does not seem as important as taking the child to the doctor for regular checkups for example.
The reality is the earlier you take your child to a pediatric dentist, the lower the odds of your infant developing infections and other oral health issues.
Setting a solid foundation with your pediatric dentist
There are many risks that children are susceptible to when their oral hygiene is not being properly taken care of regardless of if they have teeth or not. Remember, even though the child’s teeth are not visible early on, they are growing inside the child’s gums. That leaves them susceptible to bacteria.
A good way to remove bacteria from the child’s gum is by running a damp, clean washcloth over his/her gums.
Once the child grows his/her first teeth, a soft-bristled toothbrush with a tiny head should be used to clean the child’s teeth at least once a day. There are many toothbrush brands that are designed specifically for kids.
Parents need to go easy on the toothpaste when they brush the child’s teeth. Use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste with water to gently clean his/her teeth. Children are more likely to swallow the toothpaste when a parent uses too much, which can lead to a host of health issues.
A child will be ready for his/her first visit to a pediatric dentist once the rest of his/her teeth start growing in.
We recommend that parents take their child to the dentist before his/her first birthday. There are many issues that can occur if the child’s teeth are not growing properly, yet we can treat many of these issues in our office.
Teach good oral hygiene habits early
Baby teeth do not last a lifetime, but it is still important that parents teach children how to properly care for them. Despite being temporary, baby teeth play a crucial role. Baby teeth help a child chew and speak properly, and they pave the way for the permanent teeth to follow when it is time for them to emerge.
Once a child is over two years old, it is time to teach them how to spit when brushing. Parents must try not to use water to teach a child how to spit since this might make them more likely to swallow toothpaste. Parents can increase the amount of toothpaste a child uses to brush to a pea-sized quantity once the child turns three.
Nonetheless, parents should continue supervising their child’s oral hygiene routine until he/she turns six.
Regular visits to the dentist
As important as great oral hygiene habits are, they are not always enough. Your child also needs professional cleaning by a dentist to remove plaque buildup. You do not need to worry about trying to figure out when your child is due for a cleaning.
We recommend taking your child to our pediatric dentist every six months for checkups, so we can let you know when a cleaning is appropriate.
When was the last time your child saw a pediatric dentist? Schedule an appointment with Art of Smiles – Norman D. Knowles, D.M.D. today. Call us at (772)778-0954.
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