Almost everyone knows that regular dental visits are important for healthy teeth and gums, but parents are often surprised to learn that the American Dental Association recommends that children should have their first dental visit before their first birthday. Early dentistry for children is extremely important. The first teeth will fall out as the child gets older, but these early visits to the dentist set your child up for a lifetime of good teeth.
Learn why you should consider scheduling your child’s first dentist visit earlier than you may have thought.
Becoming Comfortable at the Dentist
Few people enjoy going to the dentist, and you probably know at least one person whose fear prevents them from making regular appointments. If your child starts going to the dentist as a baby, she’ll grow up accustomed to it. Trips to the dentist will feel the same as the well visits to the pediatrician. In the early years, the dentist probably won’t even use any of the noisy equipment that people tend to fear the most. To your child, going to the dentist is simply one of the things you have to do to stay healthy.
Checking for Healthy Mouths
Tooth decay can start the moment the first tooth comes in. A lot of parents don’t realize they should be brushing a baby’s teeth. They let the baby go to sleep while nursing or with a bottle, and the milk sits on the teeth overnight. These things can harm the child’s teeth, but regular dental visits can spot problems early.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are more important than you probably realize. While they will eventually fall out, they’re necessary for maintaining proper spacing for the permanent teeth. They’re also necessary for chewing and speech development. If there’s significant decay in a baby tooth, or if the tooth falls out early, parents should let a dentist examine the tooth and offer some solutions. Healthy baby teeth set the stage for healthy permanent teeth.
Preventing Tooth Decay
As the permanent teeth come in – usually around age five – dentists can start to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of tooth decay. They put sealants on permanent teeth, keeping food out of any small grooves that naturally occur in the tooth. Additionally, your child’s dentist can test your tap water to see if there’s enough fluoride in it. If not, special fluoride treatments can help protect your child’s teeth. The earlier you start taking these preventative steps, the better off your child will be.
If your child has sprouted her first tooth, it’s time to start thinking about taking her to the dentist. A good pediatric dentist knows how to work with children and will help your child feel at ease. At Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry, we will work with you to keep your child’s teeth healthy. We are conveniently located in Suwanee and have weekend appointments available. Call today to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment.