How Early Should I Bring my Child to the Dentist?
- Posted on: Jul 30 2018
When Should a Child First Visit the Dentist?
Your child should visit the dentist for the first time at about the age of three. If you start taking your child to the dentist around the age of three, then he or she is probably too young to be anxious or nervous. But if you’ve waited until your child is older, then he or she may have some anxiety on the first visit.
Why Is It Important for the First Visit to Happen So Young?
Your child’s first visit is more about making your child feel comfortable in a dentist’s office, allowing your child to explore various instruments, or enjoying a ride in the chair. Only after your child is comfortable is it time for the dentist to take a quick peek at the mouth. Your dentist may also:
- Perform routine dental cleaning that’s quick and painless
- Provide a fluoride treatment to protect your child’s teeth from damage between visits
Recent Problems with Cavities in Young Children
Cavities are one of the most common chronic conditions of children in the US. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 20% of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. If tooth decay is left untreated, it can cause pain and infections, which can cause problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
What the Dentist Can Tell You About Your Child
An early dentist visit can help you and your child discover:
If Your Child Is at Risk for Cavities: As a parent, recognizing the early signs of tooth decay in your child isn’t always easy. Your dentist can tell you how your youngster’s teeth are doing and recommend anything for tooth decay protection, like fluoride treatments or dental sealants.
How to Properly Clean Teeth: Your dentist can give your child a friendly and fun demonstration on how to clean his/her teeth. If your child resists a toothbrush, you can learn how to clean your little one’s mouth with water and a soft cloth.
How to Correct Bad Oral Habits: There are a few different issues which can affect the oral health of your child that your dentist can help you with, such as:
- Thumb sucking which can lead to dental problems such as teeth protruding and an overbite, which can interfere with speech.
- Tongue thrusting is swallowing by thrusting the top of the tongue forward against the lips. Tongue thrusting, much like thumb sucking, puts pressure on the front teeth, which can cause crooked and/or protruding teeth and may cause an overbite.
- Lip sucking is when a child frequently holds the lower lip under the top teeth, which can lead to an overbite and the same issues as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting does.
Early visits also help lay the groundwork for healthy teeth later in a child’s life, and lets you know what to expect in the future.
If your child is due for a dentist visit, contact our team at Concerned Dental. We offer comprehensive dental services for children and adults at our convenient locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Long Island and Westchester. Our modern and friendly practice is home to a highly-qualified team of general dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and pediatric dentists who handle all aspects of dentistry from one convenient location. To book your visit, call our office at 800.583.9285 or request an appointment today by filling out the form on this page.