Whether kids have a full set of teeth or just a few popping through, it is important to keep their tiny teeth and gums healthy. Most dentists recommend beginning your child’s regular dental visit around their first birthday.
Don’t worry if your child is a bit older, it’s never too late! Besides making sure their teeth and gums are healthy, early visits help your child build a positive association with the dentist. This makes future trips less daunting for them and less of a hassle for you. They will also develop good oral hygiene habits early, setting them up for a happy and healthy smile for life!
Here are 3 oral health areas that your child will benefit from seeing the dentist after they are a year old:
- Protecting baby teeth from decay. It’s true that baby teeth don’t last long when compared to a normal lifespan. But during their short visit, they do play a critical role in a child’s health and development. Cool facts about baby teeth:
- They provide the foundation for eating, speaking, and smiling
- They also preserve the space for the permanent teeth that will succeed them
- Without them, permanent teeth can erupt out of position to form a poor bite.
- Detecting the developement of a poor bite. A poor bite doesn’t form overnight, there can be subtle signs of its development during early childhood. With early detection, an orthodontist can use interventional techniques that will lessen or even stop a poor bite from forming.
- Developing a healthy dentist-patient relationship. Dental anxiety is a real problem for many adults, in some cases it can be so severe they avoid professional dental care altogether. The roots of that dental fear often go back to unpleasant experiences during childhood. Starting dental visits when a child is very young helps minimize the development of dental anxiety. A young child will more likely view dental care as a routine part of life and will less likely be afraid.
That’s why early dental care to prevent and treat decay in primary teeth helps them remain for as long as they should.
Prepare your child
If possible, schedule morning appointments so very young children are alert and fresh.
- Talk to your child about their first visit to the dentist in a positive manner.
Prepare a preschooler or older child for their visit by giving him or her a general idea of what to expect. Explain why it is important to go to the dentist. Build excitement and understanding.
- Read useful books to talk about going to the dentist
Reading books to your child about going to the dentist and brushing teeth will be very helpful. There are a number of books which can help prepare children for their first trip to the dentist.
Remember that your own feelings toward dental visits can be quite different from your child’s. Parents can support their children by staying calm while in the dental exam room. Children can pick up their parents’ anxieties and become anxious themselves.
Get ready to discuss your questions and concerns with the dentist. It is best if you write all your questions in advance to ensure that your dentist covers everything during the visit.
Prepare your dentist
On your first visit, give the dentist your child’s complete health history.
Watch how your child reacts. Many parents are able to guess how their child will respond to the treatment and should let the dentist know beforehand.
Before bringing the curtain down…
Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life 🙂
All species of deer have antlers, with the exception of the Chinese water deer. Instead of antlers, they have long canine teeth which can be as long as 8cm!
Each year, antlers fall off and regrow. As they regrow, they are covered in a furry coat called velvet. The velvet is rich in nerves and blood vessels, allowing the antlers to regrow quickly.