Most adults see the dentist twice a year for teeth cleaning. But did you know that your child also needs to see the dentist for teeth cleaning as well?
Your child’s baby teeth require care that’s just as important as caring for their adult teeth. But why should you take your child to the dentist at such a young age?
If you have questions or you’re curious about dental care for babies, read on for some important information that you need to know on caring for your toddler’s teeth.
Why Children Need Professional Teeth Cleaning
Children benefit from professional teeth cleaning even if they don’t have all their adult teeth. Here are a few reasons why children should have a professional dental cleaning.
Despite parents teaching their children how to brush, children cannot remove all of the plaque off their teeth by themselves. The same is true for adults. The longer the plaque sits on the teeth, the more damage it can do, including the formation of cavities and tartar build-up.
Professional teeth cleaning with a dentist in Kentucky removes the plaque from your child’s teeth and gum line so their baby teeth stay healthy. This deep cleaning reaches parts that toothbrushes cannot.
The health of baby teeth directly impacts the health of adult teeth because lingering plaque and tartar can be the onset of gum diseases.
Also, as your child grows, they make space for adult teeth. When their baby teeth are unhealthy, this could cause problems with tooth eruption and cause the teeth to crowd.
Seeing a dentist prepares children for future visits. As children age, they’ll continue to need teeth cleaning and check-ups to ensure all their teeth are erupting and there are no additional dental problems.
Healthy teeth in children lead to better use of the jaw, speech development, and chewing. As long as they have healthy teeth, their growth is more linear.
What Is a Pediatric Dentist?
The best choice for the health of your child’s teeth is a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist provides dental care for kids until they reach adulthood. Some pediatric dentists continue to see children past high school.
A pediatric dentist is a general dentist, but they have 2-3 years of additional training in child behavior, psychology, and anatomy. Because of this, they’re well-qualified to work with your child, and they catch early dental problems because they understand child anatomy.
What to Expect at Your Child’s Dental Appointment
You might be wondering how your child’s first dental appointment will go. Here are some tips on what to expect, and how you can make the situation comfortable for your child.
It’s normal for your child to show some hesitancy or fear over going to the dentist. Prepare your child for their first dental visit by role-playing and showing what they can expect from the dentist. Make sure to tell your child a week or so ahead of time that they’re going to the dentist, and not the night before.
Many pediatric offices provide toys, televisions, or other forms of entertainment while parents and children wait for the dentist. Once they’re ready to see your child, they’ll call you back. Some offices allow parents to come with the child so they feel more secure.
You can expect the dentist to:
- Examine your child’s teeth and gums
- Possibly take X-rays of your child’s teeth
- Ask you questions about your child’s dental habits
- Perform teeth cleaning
For some children with fears or kids with special needs, you may want to speak to your dentist about possible sedation to make the experience more comfortable and safe. Dental sedation is safe with a pediatric dentist, and your child is supervised the entire time.
Some pediatric dentists provide a fluoride treatment for your child’s teeth. Fluoride strengthens teeth as they grow and polishes them to give them a smooth and sleek feel. If you have any questions about your child’s teeth or their visit, ask the dentist after the exam is over.
Caring For Your Child’s Baby Teeth at Home
While scheduling dental appointments every six months for your child is important, another key component to healthy teeth is learning to establish healthy dental habits at home. Here are some things you can start doing to keep your child’s teeth healthy.
Brush your teeth with your child. Children love to imitate adults, so when it comes time to brush your teeth, take your child with you and show them how to brush their teeth well. This may take several months and even years as their motor skills develop, but it’s an investment that’s worth it.
Limit the amount of sugar your child has. Excess sugar collected on the tooth and gum line is a prime breeding ground for bacteria. Because children are learning to brush, the less sugar your child consumes, the better their teeth will be.
Encourage your child to develop a taste for healthy and crunchy foods like carrots, celery, peppers, and even foods with calcium. Calcium strengthens teeth and crunchy foods help eliminate plaque. Make sure your child is old enough to have these foods, and always supervise meal times.
Scheduling Your Child’s Dental Appointment
The health of your child’s baby teeth is a gateway to the health of their adult teeth. Making sure your child sees the dentist for deep cleaning is a great way to keep their teeth clean and prepared for their adult teeth.
Is your child ready for their first visit to the dentist or for a deep cleaning? Contact us today and let us help you schedule your appointment!