Many parents have limited knowledge when the appropriate time is to take their child to their first dentist appointment. In many cases parents will wait until their child is entering pre-school before scheduling their child’s first dental appointment. Have you ever considered the affect waiting can have on your child’s oral health? Studies indicate the earlier a child sees a dentist, the better. Here are topmost reasons why:
- Children often start getting cavities before the age of 4 and they are often diagnosed with dental decay before the age of 2. Therefore, every child must see a dentist before turning 1.
- Primary (baby) teeth are important! Baby teeth set the foundation for permanent (adult) teeth, often being the root cause of bite, jaw and speech problems.
- Thumb-sucking and pacifier use can become a problem! This often becomes a major oral concern if the habit is not broke by age 3. When parents visit a dentist they may learn effective oral habits to integrate into their child’s oral routine.
- Avoid a serious oral condition called "baby bottle tooth decay!" This happens when liquids that contain sugar are left in a baby’s mouth for long or frequent periods of time. Preventative treatment education can be obtained by visiting a dentist.
- Start early to learn the correct way! Seeing a dentist at an early age allows parents to learn the correct methods for caring for their child’s oral health, such as how to clean their teeth properly.
- Every child goes through teething! A dentist will ensure your child’s teeth are growing in properly, and provide parents with additional tips to help their child through the teething times.
- Tooth decay can start before the age of one! If the start of a cavity is found a dentist may provide corrective treatment, such as fluoride use, to help prevent further tooth decay.
- Get the dental tools you need most! With special infant toothbrushes and gum clothes available for proper cleaning measures, a dentist can provide these items along with any applicable educational material to assist.
- Understand the affects of formula or breast-feeding! It is important to understand the implications formula or breast-feeding may have on your child’s teeth. A dentist can provide awareness to the correct methods of preparing a child for breast-feeding, which inherently helps prevent child tooth decay.
- Find a dentist now! Allowing your child to establish a dentist at an early age will help the child become more trusting of their dentist and build a much-needed relationship for ongoing and accessible care.