Did you know that your child can get a cavity as soon as their first tooth comes out? It may seem very early and highly unlikely, but that doesn't mean it cannot happen. In fact, one report found that about 28% of American children aged between 2 and 5 have cavities.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to prevent tooth decay in your child: practice brushing well and regularly as soon as the first tooth emerges, encourage good eating habits, and take them to regular dentist visits for preventive care.
But, when should their first visit take place?
Earlier than you may imagine.
You should schedule your child's first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.
While this may seem very early, research shows that with every year that you wait past their first birthday, your child's chances of developing tooth decay double.
Baby tooth decay may not seem like a big deal to many parents. But, if left untreated, it can cause not only pain but also affect the proper development of your child's adult teeth and their overall oral health.
In addition to preventing, catching, and treating tooth decay before they create more problems, taking your child to the dentist early could also help them feel more comfortable with the process. Dental appointments can be stressful for anyone, but especially for children who have a difficult time understanding the necessity of the medical act. But, when they become familiar with the dentist's office from an early age, they are more likely to develop and maintain healthy oral habits.
Of course, the dentist will check your child's teeth for any signs of decay or other potential problems, such as weak enamel or deeper grooves that could facilitate the development of cavities.
But, most and foremost, the purpose of the first visit is to help your child get accustomed to the dentist's office, the tools they are using, the treatment, and so on. It's also an opportunity for the parent to learn from an expert how to take proper care of their child's oral health. The dentist can teach you how to brush your child's teeth, what type of toothbrush and toothpaste to use, give you tips about creating a healthy and balanced diet, and so on.
How to Make Your Child's First Dental Visit More Enjoyable
It's normal for your child to feel anxious about seeing the dentist. You can help ease their anxiety by talking to them and letting them know what will happen during the appointment. Read stories about going to the dentist, play doctor together, and reassure them that they are safe.
If you are looking for a team of kindhearted dentists and staff who offer pediatric dental care in a warm, safe, and friendly environment, then you can count on Shirlington Pediatric Dentistry to take proper care of your child's dental needs.
Contact us now to book your child's first appointment with us.