What Is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry focuses on doctors that treat children’s teeth. They see patients from a child’s first visit through adolescence. Dentists who treat children go through additional training after dental school.
When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dentist Visit?
According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should bring their child to the dentist when their first tooth appears. If you do not bring your child at that time then they should be brought no later than their first birthday.
Benefits of Visiting a Pediatric Dentist Early
There are many benefits to bringing your child to the dentist early. Primarily, it provides you with information to help keep your child’s teeth safe and the dentist a baseline for their future needs. Additional benefits include:
- Teaching your child how they can properly clean their teeth and how you can help them with their dental care
- Understanding the link between their diet and oral health
- Talking about thumb sucking and teething
- Examining your child’s bite
- Checking your child’s bite, gums, and cheeks
- Learning more about your child’s oral development
- Setting a schedule for future appointments
What Happens During a Pediatric Dental Visit?
Your child’s first dental visit can be an exciting milestone. At your visit, you can expect the dentist to:
- Examine your child’s teeth, jaw, and bite
- Demonstrate brushing and flossing techniques to help you care for your child’s teeth
- Discuss diet and feeding practices that could put your child’s teeth at risk for decay
- Talk about topical fluoride uses
- Perform a dental cleaning and check for cavities
How Often Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist?
Just like adults, children should see the dentist at least every six months. Your pediatric dentist will let you know, based on your child’s specific dental needs, if that schedule needs to change.
Are My Child’s Primary Teeth Important?
Primary teeth, or your child’s first set of teeth, may not seem as important as the permanent teeth that will eventually grow in. However, it is important to keep those primary teeth healthy and in place until they’re naturally lost. These teeth are important because they:
- Help with proper chewing and nutrition
- Save a space for permanent teeth
- Assist in speech development
- Promote a healthy smile
Avoiding Primary Teeth Cavities
You can help your child avoid cavities by making sure they:
- Avoid food with a lot of sugar
- Brush twice a day and floss daily
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
If recommended by their dentist, children can also take a fluoride supplement to help avoid cavities.
What to Consider When Choosing Your Child’s Dentist
When bringing your child to the dentist for the first time it is important to consider what will work best for your child. You should look for a dentist with expertise in pediatric dentistry, a calm demeanor, and a caring attitude. They should make your child feel comfortable during their visit so that they can communicate about their oral health needs. Consider your child and how you want to introduce them to dentistry when choosing their dentist.
Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today!
Visit any of our Dental365 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island to start your child on their dental health journey. Contact us at (844) 365-DENTAL for more information, or to schedule an appointment.