Taking Care of Your Child's Teeth
When it comes to your kids, there’s little more important than starting to take care of their health early. Early dental checkups are important as they help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating, and other medical issues. The sooner children begin getting regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will remain throughout their lives.
Their First Visit
When is the right time to start worrying about your child’s dental health? At Anderson & Atkins DDS, we recommend that as soon as a child has teeth, it is a good idea to start bringing them in for dental exams to get them accustomed to the dental office. Often, children may feel scared to come to the dentist's office. But with consistency, going to the dentist will soon become a normal experience. These early visits are also the best time for parents to get instructions as to how to keep your child's teeth healthy!
What To Expect
When you set up your child's first checkup, you'll begin your journey with our friendly and qualified team. At these appointments, your dentist will be able to check up on the overall health and progress of your child’s teeth and identify any early structural or other problems with your child’s mouth. Your child will also receive a personalized oral care plan that you both can follow together. After the initial appointment, a check-up every six months is recommended. These appointments will monitor your child's progress. At Anderson & Atkins, we sometimes utilize the help of pediatric specialists for unique cases. In these instances, we will refer you to one of our trusted partner pediatric specialists. Additionally, we do offer "laughing gas" if needed.
As your child starts to follow this oral care plan, they will begin to understand the overall importance of dental careand good dental practices by creating oral hygiene habits. At Anderson and Atkins, we recommend parents begin brushing baby teeth as soon as they erupt. In order to do this, just wet a small, soft toothbrush and gently brush all around your child's baby teeth -- front and back. You may graduate to a rice-sized amount of kids' toothpaste once your child is two (be sure to teach them to spit while brushing), then increase to a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are three and less likely to swallow it. You should begin flossing your child's teeth as soon as they begin to touch.
Common Dental Issues In Children
Although their teeth are new, children may face some of the same dental problems as adults. Tooth decay is extremely common among children. It is caused by bacteria and plaque acids that attack and destroy tooth enamel. Attention to diet and strict oral hygiene can help prevent decay. Bad breath can affect people of any age. Potential sources of mouth odor include poor dental hygiene, inflamed gums, and dry mouth. Sensitive teeth might seem like an issue only the older crowd deals with, but kids have thinner enamel than adults. When enamel gets worn down, the gums can recede or cracks can form on the tooth exposing nerve endings. This leads to pain when eating or drinking anything hot or cold.
The Bottom Line
Since the moment your child is born, you are constantly monitoring their health. Unfortunately, the same is often not true of a child’s oral health. Many people put off their children’s first dental visits until their adult teeth start to come in, which is a serious mistake. Just like it’s important to get an early start on taking care of your child’s overall health, it’s equally important to get an early start oral healthcare. For more information about how Anderson & Atkins can help you kick start your child's oral health or if you have any questions about our practice, please feel free to contact us here!