Many parents don’t realize that their children should see a pediatric dentist around the time that the first tooth emerges and no later than the child’s first birthday.
It may seem premature to have a child’s mouth examined when just one tooth has pushed through the gums, but an early examination can help the pediatric dentist identify potential problems and intervene before they cause issues for the patient.
Delaying pediatric dental care can actually have long-ranging consequences for a child’s oral health. The primary teeth need attention, just like the permanent teeth do, although the primary teeth will be gone within a few years.
The primary teeth do eventually fall out, but they still play an important role in the proper alignment of the permanent teeth. When the baby teeth fall out prematurely, the permanent tooth in that spot may come in too soon, potentially affecting the positioning of its neighbors.
The baby teeth also play an important role in your child’s early speech patterns and nutritional intake/ability to chew properly. So, advanced decay or other oral diseases can affect a child’s development in other areas, too.
A pediatric dentist can also make recommendations on how to care for a child’s teeth at home. The dentist can give guidance on caring for a baby’s gums and teeth and when it’s time to introduce toothpaste and dental floss, for example.
A child who develops good oral hygiene habits is likely to carry those into adulthood as well. This is another benefit of focusing on your child’s oral health needs at a young age.
A child who establishes a relationship with a caring dentist who specializes in children’s unique dental needs can develop positive feelings about going to the dentist, and those perceptions will be reinforced at a quality pediatric dental practice.
Children, even babies, need good dental care just like their parents do, so contact our office today to get your child on a schedule for regular dental exams and cleanings.