The sooner you can get your kids to brush and floss, the better. Establishing good oral hygiene early in kids is an important goal for many parents because good dental health can translate into significant financial savings as well as better health overall as kids grow into adults. It’s not unheard of for kids as young as two years old to get cavities. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 (CDC), the number of two-year-olds with cavities may be as high as 19 percent.
At Cornerstone Dental Center we know how to manage all the special issues that parents confront in terms of their child’s dental care.
Pediatric Dental Care Basics
Pediatric dental care is a special branch of dentistry that deals specifically with kids. Most pediatric dentists see their young patients from the time they’re babies until they become adults. This branch of dentistry is special because kids eat differently than adults. They tend to love candy and hate vegetables, for example. And kids tend to have strong feelings about dentists. Kids are learning to take care of their teeth and they make mistakes in the process. Parents take their kids to pediatric dentists to help manage all the potential issues that can arise because kids don’t yet know how to properly care for their teeth.
Benefits of Pediatric Dental Care
We recommend that parents set up an appointment for their child to have their teeth cleaned at Cornerstone Dental Center at an early age so that kids can get comfortable being in the dental chair. During this visit, we’ll also check the health of your child’s teeth to make sure they’re free of cavities and the gums are healthy. During this initial dental appointment, you and your child will receive the following benefits:
At Cornerstone Dental Center, we begin our pediatric appointments by doing a thorough dental exam to check for cavities, gum disease, and other issues that could have a negative impact on the child’s dental health. Some cavities are hard to see by parents, but the dentist will be able to identify problem areas. Misalignment of teeth can also be addressed during the dental exam. This exam may or may not include x-rays and a visual inspection of the child’s mouth.
The dental professional will clean the child’s teeth by scaling away plaque and tartar, polishing, and then flossing the teeth. Some children may not brush or floss as they should at home so a teeth cleaning may be necessary to keep the child’s mouth in good health.
Dental Hygiene Instruction
A dental professional will instruct children on how to brush and floss the teeth properly. These tips can help kids perform their at-home brushing and flossing with greater skill and enthusiasm. One of the most important benefits of pediatric dentistry for both kids and parents is the development of good oral hygiene habits. Poor dental care habits often begin in childhood and persist into adulthood.
Parental Guidance on Oral Hygiene for Kids
In addition to instruction for kids, the dentist may also have some tips for parents to help them keep their kids’ teeth in good shape. Our goal at Cornerstone Dental Center is to help make pediatric dental careless of a struggle for both parents and kids.
Often parents don’t notice that their child has a dental problem until their child is noticing pain or discomfort. By this time, symptoms have persisted for quite some time and as a result, the treatment is much more involved than if the problem had been noticed sooner. When parents take their child to the dentist sooner rather than later, kids tend to benefit because dental issues are far less serious and treatments are much less painful.
When children have a positive experience at the dental clinic, they tend to feel comfortable going to the dentist as adults as well. Regular exposure to good experiences can help children avoid developing a fear of dentists later in life.
Kids who visit the dentist at a young age learn the basics of how to take care of their teeth at a young age. This is a big responsibility. Kids who are faced with the potential consequences of needing to have a cavity filled as a result of having eaten too much candy are more likely to fully understand the need to eat a healthy diet. On the other hand, kids who receive praise from the dentist from having clean teeth, are likely to continue on with good oral hygiene habits at home.
When to make the first dental appointment for a child?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry2 and the American Academy of Pediatrics3, a dental visit should be scheduled within the first 6 months after a child’s first two appears, or by the child’s first birthday (whichever comes first). The purpose of this first visit is to identify dental problems early as well as for the child to develop a comfortable working relationship with the dentist.
Dental visits that take place when a child is very young allow the dentist to detect oral health problems early and help the parents and child modify damaging habits as well as provide simple treatments as early as possible. Finger, thumb, and pacifier habits can be addressed during this initial visit and advice can be given to the parents regarding how to prevent injury to the mouth, teeth, and gums.
A child’s first dental appointment4 is a big event. Parents who make an appointment for their child between their first and second year of life should congratulate themselves for taking steps toward prevention of bigger dental issues later on in their child’s life and for making an effort for their child to have positive early experiences in the dental chair.