Proper dental care is a vital part of a child’s overall health, and this means more than merely brushing their teeth. According to the American Dental Association, children should be taken to the dentist for the first time within six months of their first tooth erupting and no later than reaching the age of one. Taking your child for dental checkups at a young age is important for a number of reasons.
Familiarity With the Dentist
Taking a child to the dentist can help him or her become comfortable with the process. By the time your child is walking and talking, dentist visits should be a part of the routine. Seeing a dentist who specializes in pediatric patients may help children adapt more easily. You can search online for one in your city; just do a search for something like pediatric dentist Jacksonville. These offices are often specifically geared toward appealing to children, and the staff will generally take the time necessary to make them feel comfortable.
Care and Techniques
Although your child will lose his or her baby teeth eventually, it is still important to care for them. Primary teeth that are healthy and strong help children chew and speak properly and should maintain area in the jaw for permanent teeth. Tooth decay can happen in primary teeth and may mean a higher risk in permanent teeth. Pediatric dental staff can teach you and your child the proper techniques for brushing and flossing, as well as recommend oral care products.
Intervention and Prevention
A dentist-guided fluoride treatment can make teeth stronger and more resistant to the acid that causes cavities. The thin protective coating of dental sealants is another way a dentist can protect your child’s teeth against decay; these have been shown to reduce the risk by nearly 80% in molars.
Just as you make sure your children see a pediatrician for medical checkups, dental visits should be a priority. Taking your children to the dentist early in life can start a healthy habit that keeps them on a path to excellent oral health.