Roughly twenty percent of children under the age of eleven have untreated tooth decay, which can result in pain or an infection! Meanwhile, older children are seven percent less likely to experience these issues. This trend may be due to the fact that parents tend to wait to take their children to the dentist until they experience dental problems.
Instead of waiting for your child to experience toothaches or discomfort, it is best to schedule regular visits with a pediatric dentist. But, how can you know when to see a children’s dentist?
This article will help you determine how often to take a kid to the dentist according to their age. It will also share some tips and tricks for caring for your children’s oral health!
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the differences between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist.
What is the Difference Between a General and Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists specialize in patients from the age of six months to thirteen years old.
Typically, your child should see a pediatric dentist until their last permanent tooth has come in. However, some teenagers continue to have regular check-ups with their pediatric dentists since they are more familiar with adolescent oral health and development than general dentists.
The main reason pediatric dentists are the best choice for children is that they receive additional training after dental school that prepares them for the dental issues that children and young adults face. Equipped with their expertise, they are better prepared to handle any problems your little one might have!
Moreover, the staff in pediatric dental offices know how to put your child at ease during their appointment, even if they are anxious and scared. Further, if your child has special needs, you can be confident that pediatric dentists will be patient and understanding while attending to them.
Another benefit of pediatric dental offices is that they are decorated especially for children. Your child will have plenty of entertainment options while they wait to be seen by the dentist. They may not even want to leave!
When to Take My Child to The Dentist
Depending on your child’s age, dental visits will have different purposes and goals. Let’s take a look at the reasons to schedule check-ups at various points in your child’s life.
First Dental Visit Age
According to a recent survey by the American Dental Association, more than half of all parents believe that their child’s first visit to the dentist should occur after their second birthday.
Yet, dental professionals recommend that you schedule this appointment around the child’s first birthday. At the latest, you should take your baby to the dentist six months after the appearance of their first baby tooth.
While it may seem surprisingly early, babies are at risk for tooth decay as soon as their first teeth come in. The risk is particularly high for babies that drink juice, baby formula, soda, or sweetened beverages out of a bottle or sippy cup. Thus, it is important to counteract this threat with dental revisions.
During your baby’s first visit, your pediatric dentist can teach you how to eliminate harmful habits such as thumb sucking or the use of a pacifier. They may also discourage using sippy cups full of sugary liquids or sharing spoons since it can transmit oral bacteria.
Moreover, you will learn how to establish a regular oral routine for your baby to protect their new teeth and prevent tooth decay.
Toddlers and Young Children
After your child’s first dentist appointment, you’ll want to schedule check-ups every six months. The main goal for young children is to prevent tooth decay. By the time your child is four years old, they may have their first x-ray to check for cavities.
Poor oral health, even with baby teeth, can affect the development of your child’s teeth, leading to:
- Crooked permanent teeth
- Alignment problems such as an over or underbite
- Poor self-esteem
- Speech impediments
- Oral decay and infections
Thus, it is vital to schedule regular dental visits even before your child’s adult teeth come through.
Children Over the Age of Six
When your child turns six, you should take them to the dentist to ensure their adult teeth are coming in properly.
In some cases, parents also need to schedule an appointment When Baby Teeth Dont Fall Out. Your dentist may need to remove the baby teeth to allow the permanent ones sufficient space to come through.
Your pediatric dentist may suggest a sealant for your child’s teeth when they are around the age of seven. This resin protects the grooves of your child’s teeth, especially the surfaces of molars that are prone to cavities.
Once your child is a little bit older (around nine or ten years old), they should have an orthodontic revision to ensure that their jaw is aligned and growing properly. Later, when they are in their early teens, they may need braces or other types of orthodontic treatments.
Help Your Child Get off to the Right Start
Often, the dental issues we face as adults could have been prevented with regular pediatric dentist visits and proper hygiene.
By teaching your child to prioritize their oral health, you ensure that they have good habits as teenagers and into their adult life. As a result, they will have a beautiful smile to display during their biggest moments!
Did this post help you understand the importance of caring for your child’s oral health? If so, be sure to check out more of our health-related content! You’ll surely find more information that will be of use to you and your family.