Since babies may have no teeth and toddlers only have a few primary ones, you may be thinking that a trip to the dentist can be delayed. Delta Dental says that most Americans wait until their child is two, but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says that you should be taking in your baby as soon as the first tooth erupts—or within their first year. There are some definite benefits to seeing your child's dentist soon—take a look:
Your Child Can Avoid a Dental Phobia
Anxiety over going to the dentist is a very real issue for many people. In fact, you may have seen that many dental offices now have sedation dentistry options because so many people can't handle their appointments. While there is no shame in this method, sedation dentistry isn't always an option for younger children, since there are risks with anesthesia or unknown allergies to medications. In short, your child should start getting acclimated to the dentist's office ASAP. If your child has been going to the dentist regularly since he or she was little, later appointments—like for filling cavities—won't seem nearly as terrifying.
You Can Start Learning About Interceptive Orthodontics
Because baby teeth fall out, some parents think that these temporary pearly whites don't really matter. However, the setup of your child's baby teeth will affect how their adult teeth will come in. The earlier you get into a dentist, the better off your child will be regarding orthodontic planning. Some dentists set children up with interceptive orthodontics, such as spacers, which prevent serious malocclusions or crossbites that would warrant more expensive hardware (e.g., braces, expanders, etc.) when they are older. Your dentist can also help you intercept bad habits, such as thumb sucking or mouth breathing, both of which can cause a baby's bite to change if not corrected early on.
Your Dentist Can Stop Decay in Its Tracks
Again, even though the baby teeth are temporary, decay in even one tooth is still an issue. Decay that is left unchecked can seep below the gumline, abscess, and even affect adult teeth that come in. Keep in mind that while your dentist's efforts in teaching your child good habits can go a long way, your efforts are vital as well. For instance, if your baby doesn't have any teeth yet, your dentist can teach you how to massage your baby's gums with a soft cloth to wipe away bacteria (this also helps with teething). If you have been giving your baby milk at night, change the sippy cup to water to prevent milk sugars from wearing away enamel. And lastly, if your child has a few teeth, ask your dentist to teach you how to properly brush their teeth, since children have different toothpaste needs.
As you can see, there are many good reasons for you to visit a family dentistry professional in your area.Share