Many new and veteran parents are shocked to hear that their children should visit the dentist by their children’s first birthdays. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics both agree that children should visit the dentist by the time they reach one year of age. This is quite a shock to many parents whose children only have a couple of teeth at the time!
Dentists have specific reasons for wanting to see patients from such a young age. Below are the top goals in early dentistry with children:
- Allow children to get used to the dentist.
- Children who are brought into the dentist’s office from a year old become familiar with the routines of the dentist and dental hygienist. They will not associate these people as strangers, thus relieving much of the stress that first dental appointments often bring.
- Educate parents about proper oral health for young children.
- The first teeth and the gums need to be brushed on a daily basis for young children. This is especially important once children begin eating solid foods. However, many parents neglect brushing their children’s teeth because there are so few and the need does not seem great. However, the earliest prevention is the best prevention. By making it a habit to brush your children’s teeth from a year old, you are setting their teeth up for optimal health.
- Discuss and break bad oral habits.
- Parents are often the trickiest to break from bad habits! We all understand how helpful a pacifier can be in calming your child, but it can also begin to do damage once the teeth start coming in. thumb sucking is also a habit that can be detrimental to the development of the teeth’s positions. Allowing a child to fall asleep with a bottle at night is a habit that must be broken. Milk will stay in the mouth and the sugars from the milk will adhere to the teeth, making them extremely vulnerable to cavities.
- Identify the link between diet and oral health.
- We all like to indulge in sweet treats once in a while, but when children are indulged on a regular basis the outcome can be devastating. Juice, candy, soda, and sweet tea put developing teeth at a very high risk for cavities and decay because they are laden with sugars and acids that eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Parents need to understand the link between their children’s diets and their oral health.
At Riverheart Family Dentistry we want to partner with parents in order to promote the most optimal degree of oral health. Bringing in your child for his or her first dental appointment at the age of one can set your child up for a successful dental future. The health of the mouth has a direct link with the health of the entire body. Contact us today to schedule your child’s first dental appointment and begin the journey toward optimal oral health.