When you have a new-born baby, it’s common to visit your pediatrician at regular intervals throughout childhood. But when it comes to taking their children to the dentist, many parents are quite confused. Here are the answers to some questions about children’s dental health that are commonly asked by parents and some that should be asked by parents but aren’t!
Caring for Children’s Dental Health
Should I consult a pediatric dentist for my child?
The most common question asked by parents is why they can’t just consult their own dentist for their child. The answer is – just as you can’t take your kid to your own internist but to a pediatrician, you can’t take your kid to your own dentist. Kids should not be considered as miniature adults. Adults and children have very different bodies including the teeth. A pediatric dentist has knowledge of those differences and is an expert at treating kids’ teeth.
Why should I consult a dentist for my toddler when the baby teeth would fall out anyway?
Our primary teeth may fall out eventually, however, their health is important to have a sound overall oral health in the long term. If bacteria reach a baby tooth, its progress is quite quick and seeps through the tooth, going to the bone, which potentially causes dental infections that maybe even fatal. This is the worst consequence.
However, even if this doesn’t happen but if bacteria lurk within baby teeth, the adult teeth’s enamel may not develop properly and can be damaged permanently.
When should a kid see the dentist for the first time?
Dentist visit for the first time should happen when your child reaches their first birthday or gets their first tooth, whichever is earlier. Previously, age three was considered to be the right age to have the first dentist visit, since general dentists found that they can manage a child who has reached that age. Nevertheless, at age three, it’s often found that damage in children’s dental health has been already done from cavities or baby bottle teeth decay.
How should a child be prepared for his first dentist visit?
Present a dentist visit as something exciting and fun to your child. Tell your kid that we would ‘count’, ‘brush’ and ‘click photos’ of their teeth. Your kid will understand the situation better when you explain the dental examination and cleaning in such terms.
Do not use negative words like ‘shot’, ‘pull’, ‘drill’, and ‘hurt’. For example, avoid telling your kid, “The dentist will not hurt you” – your child may never have got this thought in the first place! Reassure your kid that the staff and the dentist will be friendly and gentle.
What Happens During the First Dental Visit?
A child’s first visit to the dentist usually involves very little treatment and is usually short. The visit provides an opportunity for your child to meet a dentist in a friendly and non-threatening way. In some cases, the parent may be asked by the dentist to sit in the dental chair holding their child during the dental examination. In other cases, the dentist may ask the parent to wait in the reception during some part of the dentist visit so that a relationship can be established between your dentist and your child.
In the exam, the dentist would check all the existing teeth of your child for any decay, examine the bite of your child as well as look for any issues with the oral tissues, jaw, and gums. If indicated, the teeth will be cleaned by the dental hygienist and the need for fluoride will be assessed by the dentist. He or she would also educate the parents about children’s dental health care basics, discuss dental developmental problems as well as answer any questions.
DM Dental has Expertise in Children’s Dental Health
It’s important to pay attention to child oral health care and take your child to a pediatric dentist for the first time at the right time. Des Moines Dental Group has expertise in pediatric dental health, with several well-experienced children’s dentists.
If you have a child who you are planning to take for their first dentist visit, come in for an appointment at one of our dental care offices at Des Moines Airport and Urbandale. Our dentists specializing in children’s dental healthcare can not only carry out the dental examination effectively but also guide parents on what measures to take for proper dental care for kids.