Ensuring healthy teeth and gums is paramount for good health among children. Early dental care establishes a relationship with dentist and children that carries forward throughout life. Dentists that understand how to interact with kids allows for an ease of care that eliminates the stress and fear among kids and makes life so much easier for parents!
A dentist who specializes in treating children doesn’t just have smaller equipment to manage little people. Pediatric dentists are trained in how to work with children, who are not always quiet and cooperative when at the dentist’s office. They are prepared to examine kids’ teeth and treat children in a way that puts a child patient at ease. Their offices are decorated in ways appealing to children, providing an atmosphere that allows children to develop a positive, happy rapport with their dentist. Establishing this foundation early in life contributes to a comfortable relationship with the dentist as they mature.
A specialist in pediatric dentistry provides a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. When your pediatrician suggests that your child receive a dental exam, you can be assured that a pediatric dentist will provide the best possible care.
In addition to treating children, pediatric dentists are a resource for parents. They can provide information on other oral health concerns, such as thumb sucking, use of pacifiers, and early consultation on potential orthodontic treatment.
As to when you should introduce your child to their dentist: The American Academy of General Dentistry recommends that your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before their first birthday. The general rule is six months after that first tooth comes in! And that first tooth typically shows up around 6-8 months of age, so early introduction to a pediatric dentist sets the foundation for a lifetime habit.
On the first visit, parents can expect:
Follow up appointments every six months, just as with adults, should be the norm. More frequent (every 3 months) visits can be scheduled if frequency will promote greater ease and familiarity at the dentist for the child.