Why Early Dental Cleanings Are Important for Your Child
Experts recommend that a child’s dental cleanings begin within six to 12 months of the eruption of the first tooth. It’s important to establish an early baseline exam of the teeth, oral tissues, jaws, gums, and bite to compare against future development and growth.
Emphasizing Early Prevention of Cavities
Even though your one-year-old may only have a couple of teeth, their teeth are susceptible to cavities even before they appear. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) are caused by breast milk, formula, or food sitting on these early teeth and breeding bacteria that can cause cavities and gum problems.
One specific purpose of baby teeth is to maintain space for permanent teeth. Losing a baby tooth is not only painful for your child, but it can lead to misaligned teeth and speech problems. Getting an early start and maintaining a schedule of dental exams every six months can have a lasting impact on your child’s health.
Preparing Your Child for the First Dental Visit
Introducing your young child to the dentist early allows them to allay any anxiety or fear they may have. To prepare them for the visit, start a few days ahead of time to present it to them as a fun outing so they are comfortable when they arrive. Your child’s ability to build a trusting relationship with their dentist depends on their perception of your interactions with these providers.
Understanding What Happens During a First Cleaning
The more informed you are about what is involved in your child’s first teeth cleaning experience, the more at ease you and your child will be. Talk to the dentist or staff ahead of time and acquaint them with any potential problems you see arising and what the solutions may be, such as giving your child a light relaxant during the procedure.
During the cleaning, have the dentist explain in detail to you and your child exactly what they will be doing and what tools will be used.
Setting Expectations for Future Dental Cleanings
Choosing an experienced children’s dentist is essential to your child’s comfort and trust in an unfamiliar situation. If your child has trouble being separated from you, having the ability to be with your child during the exam and cleaning will help ease their anxiety. As they become more accustomed to the visits, they become less fearful and more trusting of the dentist and staff. Especially for very young children, asking questions ahead of time in regard to your and your child’s needs can prevent any miscommunications on the day of the visit.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Starting your child’s dental cleanings early and making them a regular part of their overall health routine ensures they will have a healthy and beautiful smile. Choosing the right dentist and staff, making them aware of your concerns, and preparing your child well ahead of time for their first dentist visit can create a wonderful experience for you and your child.
Don’t wait, schedule your child’s first appointment at our local dental office today. Regular dental exams and cleanings can have a positive impact on their oral health for a lifetime.