It cannot be easy to know how often your child needs to see the dentist. You might have questions about when to take them for their first visit, when they should start flossing, and how often to have regular checkups. This article will help you learn more about that. Read on.
Dental Care for Your Child
Caring for your child’s teeth should start even before they have their first dentist visit. In fact, it should begin before your child has any visible teeth. A baby is born with 20 primary teeth under their gums. These teeth start to erupt around six months of age. Once the teeth begin to emerge, you should brush them gently with a soft baby toothbrush and plain water.
The American Dental Association recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist should be by their first birthday. The first visit focuses on introducing the child to the dentist, getting them comfortable in the dentist’s chair, and teaching parents how to provide oral care for their baby.
In most cases, the child will not need to return for another visit until they are two years old. After that, the child should visit the dentist every six months. Pediatric dentists often take a child’s first dental x-rays between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.
The best time for a child to have an orthodontic evaluation is around 7 years old. If the child needs braces, the orthodontist will usually not recommend putting them on until the child is a bit older, around their early teens. However, identifying any problems with the child’s teeth at an early age can help determine what the child will need for a healthy mouth later in life.
At your child’s first dental visit, the dentist will ask about your child’s general health and medical history. The dentist will also examine your child’s teeth and gums. On subsequent visits, let the dentist know if your child’s health has changed. Here’s what you can expect during most visits to the dentist:
- Teeth cleaning
One of the dental hygienists or the dentist themselves will scrape any built-up plaque and tartar from below the gum line. This can cause gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay, and other problems. They will then polish and floss your child’s teeth.
- Complete dental examination
The dentist will check your child’s teeth and gums for any signs of disease or other conditions. X-rays can help diagnose problems that would otherwise go unnoticed until they cause pain, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, or tumors. X-rays can also help diagnose decay between the teeth.
- Teaching good dental habits
Going to the dentist at a young age and maintaining regular dental checkups can help avoid major dental problems. By seeing a dentist regularly, you can catch problems early on and prevent unnecessary pain or expense for your little one.
The best way to ensure your child’s oral health is to brush twice a day, floss at bedtime, and visit the dentist regularly. A pediatric dentist can teach your child proper brushing techniques and how to floss.
This type of instruction is usually taken more seriously when it comes from a dentist than when it comes from a parent. Just follow a recommended dentist exam schedule, and you’ll provide your child with excellent oral care and a healthy smile that should last a lifetime.
If you are looking for a children’s dentist, trust Manassas Smiles. We offer complete dental care services like cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, or gum disease treatment under one roof. Schedule an appointment.