Pediatric dentistry is expected to gain a lot of new dentists with a 60% increase in the next decade. Pediatric dentists are all over the place, but knowing when your child needs to see one is difficult. Are you thinking of making an appointment with a pediatric dentist but aren’t sure if it’s too soon?
It’s hard to tell when the best time to have your child see the dentist is since all children develop at their own rate.
Luckily, there are some simple things that you can look out for that will tell you whether or not it is time to book that initial appointment. Keep reading to learn more about pediatric dentistry, when to take your child to the dentist, and how this choice will benefit your child.
What Is Pediatric Dentistry for Kids?
Pediatric dentistry is a specific field within dentistry that is aimed at oral health for children. Pediatric dentists will help children from the infant stage get cleaner teeth and learn about oral health through their teen years.
These dentists have the experience and the necessary skills to take care of children’s teeth, mouths, and gums during childhood.
Most children get their baby teeth before they are one year old. By the age of 7, most children will start to lose teeth.
If children are not taught how to take care of their teeth (or if they don’t receive regular dental cleanings), they can be set up for a life with teeth problems. Issues like decay, disease, pain or other complications may arise without preventative measures.
Pediatric dentists make it easy for parents to help their children thrive and to learn more about oral health.
How Old Should a Child Be to See the Dentist?
It would help if you planned to have your child see the dentist either after the first tooth pops through the gum or before their first birthday. Whichever event happens first, this is when you should get in touch with a pediatric dentist for an appointment.
This will generally mean that your child will see the dentist sometime between 6 months and 1 year of age.
During the initial appointment, the dentist will look at your child’s mouth and examine the incoming or existing teeth. They will also consider other aspects of their oral health, such as their gum health.
The pediatric dentist will talk to you about your child’s eating or drinking habits, fluoride intake, pacifier use or thumb-sucking, and more.
Does This Seem Too Young?
Many parents think that seeing the dentist this early is unnecessary, but this is a preventative measure. Dentists who can catch issues early on will have an easier time fixing them or preventing them from getting worse!
Dental issues in children are likely more common than you may have previously thought. Even though children lose their baby teeth, the impact of those teeth on future tooth or gum health is crucial.
Tooth decay and poor dental hygiene are two big concerns parents should have for their children’s teeth.
Benefits of Taking Your Children to the Dentist
Taking your child to the dentist when they are young is beneficial because they will have the chance to get their teeth and oral health reviewed by a professional right when things are starting to change. This means that if it looks like a tooth isn’t growing correctly or other problems that the dentist notices, it won’t be late to correct the situation.
One of the other benefits of taking your child to the dentist when they are young is getting used to going. As they get older, they will likely feel more comfortable with the visits with less nervousness and anxiety because they know they’ve done it before.
Taking your child to a pediatric dentist is also beneficial for you as the parent because you learn more about your child’s overall health. Oral health is an important part of general health and knowing how to clean your baby’s teeth and gums properly is crucial.
Dentists can help you with curbing bad habits, like thumb-sucking or excessive pacifier use, as well.
Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
It does seem easier to bring your child to the same dentist you see, but you need to choose a pediatric dentist. They are specially trained to deal with children’s mouths, and they know how to make the experience fun for younger kids.
In addition to this, pediatric dentists are going to have the right type of equipment. Because babies have such small mouths, they require a special equipment size for the dentist to use.
A pediatric dentist’s office is typically going to be vibrant and welcoming for children of all ages. You want your child to be comfortable in an environment that helps them feel relaxed. You never know – they may love it so much that they look forward to their visit every 6 months.
Is Your Child Ready for the Dentist?
While it may feel strange taking your baby to the dentist at 1 year old, it’s a wise decision to make as a parent.
Not only are you ensuring that their dental health and general oral health are on track as they develop, but you’re allowing yourself to learn about new ways you can help take care of them. It’s a win-win situation!
Deciding to have your child see a pediatric dentist doesn’t have to be difficult. We make the process easy for you and your child and invite you to make an appointment with us today.