National Children’s Dental Health Month in February is a national health observance that highlights the importance of pediatric dental care. According to the American Dental Association, the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and cavities in children. That is why the ADA encourages parents to take their children to the dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings.
When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?
As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, you should begin taking them to see the dentist regularly. Taking your child in to see a dentist early and often will help ensure that they have a healthy smile into adulthood. Regular visits at a young age will ensure they get used to visiting the dentist and will allow your dentist to monitor their oral health as they grow. The dentist will be able to spot any issues or concerns early on and provide helpful tips on how to fix them before they grow into a larger problem.
In addition to regular checkups, you and your child can also benefit from daily brushing and flossing. Starting these habits now will show your child the importance of good oral hygiene and help them maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
What Are Common Dental Problems For Children?
Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood dental problems, but cavities are preventable! As a parent, you can teach your child good dental care habits that will help prevent tooth decay and other common dental problems. Here are a few tips to protect your child’s smile:
- Teach your kids to brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once per day.
- Monitor your children’s intake of sugary foods and beverages, as these foods can cause plaque buildup and lead to cavities.
- Avoid sharing utensils or drinking glasses with young children to avoid spreading germs.
- Keep regular appointments with your pediatric dentist to monitor your child’s dental health and catch any problems before they become major issues.
- By developing healthy habits now, you can help your child have a healthy smile and strong teeth throughout their lifetime!
How To Prepare Children For A Dental Appointment?
If a child is anxious about their first visit, you, as a parent, can help ease any anxiety by preparing your child ahead of time. To prepare them, you can talk about their visit in a positive and casual way, so they understand nothing is wrong with them. You can also play games online that teach them about dental hygiene in a fun and interactive way. In order to make the child more comfortable with the procedures that often go along with dental care, it can be helpful to explain each one before it happens. For example, let them know they will receive an x-ray of their teeth before any cleaning is done. Reminding the child that they will be rewarded after their cleaning and exam can also help motivate them through their visit.