Dental checkups start children on a healthy path for dental care. Learning how to take care of their teeth at a young age is a great practice that will help children get into healthy dental habits to continue throughout their teenage and adult life. Seeing a pediatric dentist regularly protects dental health and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease with proper care and maintenance education.
Frequency of dental visits
It is recommended that children, just like adults, visit their dentist every six months. Fewer or more frequent visits may be recommended by the dentist based on individual dental needs and history. A child’s first visit to their pediatric dentist should happen as soon as their first tooth comes in or no later than their first birthday.
Why a pediatric dentist is best
It is recommended that children see a pediatric dentist through their early teenage years. Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. These dentists have up to three additional years of specialty training following dental school. They are specialized dentists who limit their practice to children. This makes the environment less intimidating for the child. It also provides the parents with the added confidence of their child being under the care of a dentist that specializes in patients their age. Pediatric dentists and dental hygienists teach at age-appropriate levels about tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, gum disease, and healthy eating habits.
What to expect at the dental visit
A child’s first visit to their dentist is usually short. The dentist will exam the child’s teeth and check for decay and any other potential problems. They will check the child’s bite. Because the child is still young, the dentist will educate the parent or guardian about oral health care basics for children. They will answer any questions about dental care.
Questions to ask
My child sucks his thumb/lip. Will this affect his teeth?
How much fluoride does my child need?
What developmental milestones should I look out for?
How soon should I schedule our next visit?
What oral hygiene habits should I implement to prevent cavities?
My child is diabetic. Will dental habits need to be altered?
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