Many parents seem to think that their children don't need to see a dentist until they are two years of age or older. Don't be one of these parents. When asked how old a child should be when they start seeing the dentist, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says as early as when their first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. This probably comes as a surprise to countless parents, but there are good reasons to maintain this reply.
First Dental Visits
The dentist wants to see your infant as their teeth are coming in for a number of reasons such as:
- To make sure teeth are coming in correctly.
- To check your infant's gums making sure they are strong and healthy.
- To keep an eye on their mouth making sure there is room for all the teeth.
- To be sure your baby's teeth are lined up so that the child can chew properly.
- To keep watch for signs of early decay.
Your child's first dental visits to a place like Couchman Center for Complete Dentistry are as much for you as they are for your child, possibly more for you. You will learn how to care for your infant's mouth and teeth. You'll be instructed as to when you should begin using toothpaste for brushing your child's teeth, and how much to use. You will also learn when to let your child start doing their own brushing, and how to supervise them.
Another thing your child's dentist can help educate you about is the importance of diet in relation to maintaining healthy teeth. You will learn what foods help promote healthy teeth and which foods tend to encourage tooth decay.
More Important Reasons for Early Dental Care
Your little one's teeth are important for a number of reasons. The obvious is so they can chew and eat properly. Less obvious reasons include proper speech development, and that early teeth form the paths and spaces for permanent teeth. As you can see, it's important to take proper care of teeth, even the baby ones.
Early visits are about hygiene and cavity prevention. Toddlers will learn beginning dental health at the dentist office. They will learn proper brushing and later how to floss. The dentist may apply a sealant to your child's teeth to further aid cavity prevention.
Another significant reason for starting dental visits early is to help avoid adult fears. Children who have pleasant dental experiences are less likely to develop a fear of the dentist later in life.
As you can see, there are many benefits to starting early dental care for your children. Be an educated parent and help your child have healthy teeth.