According to the CDC, approximately 20% of children have an untreated cavity at any given point. Tooth decay in children can result in tooth loss or gum disease. Tooth decay in children is common, but it is preventable. 

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and establish good oral hygiene habits is by visiting a pediatric dentist. Why is pediatric dentistry so important?

Keep reading to learn more about why your child needs to start seeing a pediatric dentist!

Keep Their Teeth Clean

Even if you teach your children how to brush their teeth, do they do a good enough job? Because children are so young, they are more likely to miss spots in their mouths.

Helping them brush their teeth reduces this risk, but it is still difficult to remove all the plaque. Young children also may have a difficult time flossing between their teeth. 

When you take your child to their pediatric dentist for their six-month cleaning, the dentist will be able to remove all of the plaque that your child is missing. This will ensure that their mouth stays clean and can help prevent cavities. 

Are you wondering when your child should visit their first pediatric dentist? The answer to that is around one year old or when they get their first tooth. 

Prevent Tooth Decay 

Tooth decay is caused by a buildup of bacteria that damages the surface of the tooth. Tooth decay can result in needing a filling, a root canal, or removal of the tooth.

Did you know that there is a connection between tooth decay in children and gum disease in adults? That is why it is so important to start preventing tooth decay early on. 

In addition to the dentist removing plaque and keeping your child’s teeth clean, they also can suggest additional measures to prevent cavities. The pediatric dentist may recommend that your child gets sealants.

If your child does happen to develop cavities, the dentist will catch it early and treat it. Sometimes cavity symptoms are not obvious until they become severe. A pediatric dentist can spot cavities before they become painful. 

Establish Good Habits

One of the best times to create a new habit is as a child. If your child is used to visiting the dentist every six months, they will continue to go as they get older. This will ensure that they have good oral health as an adult.

In addition to getting in the routine of visiting the dentist, a pediatric dentist can help teach your child the right way to brush and floss. If your child has guidance on doing this from a young age, they can continue caring for their teeth as they get older. 

Another way to influence good dental hygiene is to take care of your own teeth. Children love to mimic their parents, so be sure to set a good example!

Reduce Dental Anxiety

Did you know that approximately 8% of children have dental anxiety? Dental anxiety in children is common, but visiting a pediatric dentist can help reduce the anxiety. 

Pediatric dentists are trained to deal with anxious kids. They have different methods to help calm your child down while they are receiving dental care.

They play games, give your child positive feedback, and give them rewards for finishing the appointment. Pediatric dentistry offices are often colorful and inviting for children as well. 

Over time, your child will learn that visiting the dentist is nothing to fear. They may even start to enjoy it! If dental anxiety is not dealt with, your child may carry those fears into adulthood and choose not to visit the dentist. 

Find Issues Early 

When you take your child in for their six-month cleaning, the pediatric dentist will be looking for early signs of issues. They will look at how much enamel your child has, impacts of thumb sucking, and early orthodontic needs. 

Finding issues early on can help prevent them from becoming bigger issues in the future. For example, if your child does not have much enamel on their baby teeth, the dentist may suggest sealants to prevent tooth decay. 

Fix Emergency Issues 

Kids accidentally trip and fall all the time! What happens when they fall and chip their tooth? If your child is already visiting a pediatric dentist, it will be easy for you to call and set up an emergency appointment

But, if you don’t have a pediatric dentist, you will have to call around and find one. This could cause your child to be in pain for longer than they need to be. 

Guidance for the Parents

As a parent, making sure that your child is getting the right oral care can be difficult. It can be hard to teach them the essentials, such as brushing and flossing. 

When your child has a pediatric dentist, they can help guide the parents and the child. They can work with you to develop the best oral care routine.

You don’t have to be an expert on caring for your children’s teeth!

Now You Know Why Pediatric Dentistry Is Important

Pediatric dentistry is important for caring for your child’s teeth at a young age. When your child learns to take care of their teeth as a kid, they will continue to do so as an adult. This can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease in the future.

Are you ready to start taking your child to a pediatric dentist? If you live near Elizabethtown, Kentucky, contact us today to set up your child’s first appointment!