When to Come To The Dentist
Most people believe that a child needs a full set of teeth before they visit the dentist. After all, what will a dentist do before the teeth emerge? Well, the truth is that there’s a lot to be done, with or without teeth.
Get It Done by Age 1
According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics,) the ADA (American Dental Association,) and the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,) your child’s first dental visit should happen either by age 1, or by the time your child has his or her first tooth, whichever comes first.
So, what’s the point in a visit to the dentist when there’s just one tooth to check on? Why would you visit the dentist before a cavity occurs? The truth is that there’s a lot more to oral health than cavities. Bringing your child to the dentist early helps us do a few very important things:
Establish a Dental Home
A dental office can be an overwhelming place for a child. However, whether that makes it exciting and fun, or scary, can depend on the reason that brings your child to our office. If the first time that they see the dentist is when they have dental pain, or they’ve had an accident and lost a tooth, then they’re going to associate the dental office with pain and fear. Of course, if they come for a friendly and routine visit first, the dental office can be a fun place that they actually look forward to visiting!
When your child comes in early, it gives us the chance to establish a rapport with your child and help them feel at home with us.
Set a Pattern of Preventive Care
Oral health care is most effective when it’s preventive. Once some of your enamel is lost, it can’t be restored, just patched. We believe in doing everything we can to prevent tooth decay from happening in the first place for your child. That means regular cleanings that will prevent bacterial growth, mouth guards to prevent wear and accidents, fluoride treatments that strengthen enamel, and sealants if your child is at a high risk for tooth decay.
Early checkups also allow us to check for early signs of dental concerns. This means that we’ll check gum health, make sure your child’s teeth are erupting in a healthy pattern, and that there aren’t early childhood caries concerns.
Early Education about Dental Health
There are some special concerns regarding children’s dental health that most parents don’t know about. Among these are Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, early orthodontic intervention, and knowing when it’s time for your child to stop sucking their thumb. We can help you address concerns specific to your child’s situation and make sure that they’re on track to have great oral health for the rest of their lives. Call Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry and schedule your child’s appointment today!