At What Age You Should Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist has undergone rigorous training for treating and caring for the oral health of children. Parents always wonder the right age a child should go to the dentist and the thumb rule is when the first tooth comes out or at the age of 1. The National Institute of Health states that over 40 percent of the children have experienced at least one cavity by 11 years of age. Child’s teeth are prone to decay and it is vital to have proper oral hygiene at an early age both at home and professionally.
Expectations from the first visit
The office of the dentist can be a frightening place for kids as well as adults and the main thing the dentist’s office does very well is making the child feel comfortable by having fun and an engaging conversation. At the time of the first visit, your child will be meeting the front desk staff and might be provided a tour of the office to look round all the rooms and equipment. This is basically done to comfort the child so that when meeting the dentist your child does not get frightened. The dental hygienist will make the child’s experience more comfortable by showing how the chair goes up and down and providing the child a ride. Sometimes, the dentist also shows the equipment used to clean and allow the child to hold them.
Cleaning the teeth and examine it
After the child seems to be at ease, the pediatric dentist will start the cleaning. Depending on the child’s age and the number of teeth, the procedure is completed within a short period. The child also gets to learn how to brush and also floss their teeth.
After cleaning, the dentist will be conducting an exam of the existing teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums. Once the child has enough teeth then X-rays can also be done. The dentist will also be evaluating how common habits like using a pacifier or sucking the thumb are impacting the mouth and the teeth. Sealants or fluoride treatments are also recommended after a certain age.
Few habits to start early
Visiting the dentist every 6 months is an important step in the entire procedure of having healthy gums and teeth. However, it is more crucial to practice good habits at home from an early age. Before teeth start appearing, parents can begin to clean the baby’s mouth. After each feeding, parents can take a soft, damp cloth for wiping the gums. When your child gets the first tooth, you should use a brush having soft bristles for brushing the tooth and the surrounding area. Just use non-fluoride toothpaste or only water until the toddler becomes old enough for spitting. Help with brushing until your child can hold the brush and also coordinate the movements that are around 6 or 7. Begin flossing around age 2 or 3 and around 10 years of age children must able to floss by themselves.
McLean Healthy Smiles, one of the leading pediatric and family dental clinics in McLean providing dental care treatments like Invisalign, dental exams and cleanings, implants, oral cancer screening, teeth whitening, scaling and root planing, periodontal treatments, emergency dental care, mouthguards, and more. To know more, visit mcleanhealthysmiles.com/about-us.