Your oral health is the gateway to your overall health, and the same is true for your kids! From an early age, children should be visiting the dentist regularly to make sure their teeth are happy and healthy. Routine visits are key to developing good oral hygiene habits and preventing dental issues in the future.
At the Children’s Dental Center, we know that taking care of your child’s teeth can be a daunting task. Parents of young children are usually spinning plates trying to make sure their child is taken care of in every way possible, so don’t stress about their dental care! That’s what the team at the Children’s Dental Center is here for. If you’re ready to learn all about early dental care, keep reading below.
All About Baby Teeth
The American Dental Association advises parents to bring their children in to see a dentist as early as six months of age. This is the age that a child typically starts teething, which kicks off your child’s dental growth. Your child is born with 20 baby teeth that will gradually grow in between the six-month mark and age three.
It’s essential to note that the moment your child’s first tooth is exposed, dental decay is possible. You’ll need to begin cleaning their teeth as early as possible to ensure they stay healthy while the rest of them grow in. Bringing your child in for an early visit at the Children’s Dental Center means you’ll learn from the experts how your child’s baby teeth will grow in and how we can help prevent decay.
All About Brushing
Once your child’s first baby tooth appears, it’s time to start brushing their teeth regularly. Because they are so little, your child’s dental hygiene routine will look a little different from your own.
The American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend a child’s toothpaste as opposed to fluoridated. However, as of 2014, our team advises you to use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to clean your child’s teeth. You should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste, but be sure to use the right amount for their age:
- Children under the age of two only need a rice-sized dollop of toothpaste.
- Children ages three to six upgrade to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
It’s no surprise that your child’s brushing habits are influenced by you and your own brushing habits. Model brushing and flossing as often and well as you can so they understand the importance of keeping up with their oral health! If they see their favorite people brushing and flossing, they’ll want to do it, too.
All About Their First Dental Visit
From the day that first baby tooth appears after weeks of teething, it’s time to start thinking about bringing your child in to see our team at the Children’s Dental Center. The earlier you expose your child to the dentist’s office, the benefits of pediatric dentistry, and the appointment process, the more quickly they will overcome their fears of the dentist chair and get the care they need.
Their first appointment should be an exciting milestone, and our team is here to make sure it runs smoothly. You’ll get a warm welcome when you arrive, and we’ll help your child feel comfortable by showing them around our kid-friendly office.
Depending on the age of your child, we will either do a lap exam with their head in the doctor’s
lap and their body on yours, or an exam in a regular dental chair. During this exam, one of our dentists will check all of your child’s existing teeth for any decay, examine their bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. Educating parents on dental developmental issues and the basics of oral health in children are important parts of this initial visit. We may also clean the teeth and assess the need for fluoride, as well as discuss the basics of oral health care for children.
All About Preventative Care
Preventative care is our main goal at the Children’s Dental Center and includes any practice that helps you take care of your child’s teeth from the day that their first tooth comes in well into old age. It is easier to think of this practice as a set of habits that fine-tune your smile, keeping up with the maintenance work that ensures your teeth are white, shiny, and functional! About half of the work of preventive dentistry comes from your dental check-ups, and half comes from your routine.
As the cornerstone of pediatric dentistry, preventative care has a lot of benefits for your child’s smile.
Reduces the Risk of Cavities
Cavities are every parent’s worst dental nightmare – okay, maybe not the worst, but it is certainly high on the list. The culprit is the buildup of plaque that develops on a person’s teeth after eating sugary or acidic foods. These foods can leave a film on the teeth that feels a little fuzzy or even rough. The bacteria that live in plaque use the sugars left on your child’s teeth to produce enamel-eroding acids. Typically, plaque is cleaned off when your child brushes their teeth either in the morning or at night – which is why it is so important to maintain the habit twice daily.
Reduces Long-Term Expense
Dental maintenance is an investment in your child’s smile over the long term. Without proper dental care, many issues can occur that are much more costly than regular checkups and high-quality toothpaste and dental floss. Cavity fillings can cost up to $100 and fixing a chipped tooth up to $5,000, whereas your child’s regular dental checkup is likely covered under insurance. Making an investment on a maintenance level can prevent the need for a larger investment down the road.
Overall Health Improvements
Our oral health is closely related to our general physical health. Our mouths are gateways to our digestive and respiratory tracts. Whatever bacteria grows on your teeth and isn’t brushed or cleaned off at a dental appointment could spread throughout the body. Preventive dental care will ensure your child’s health is in tip-top shape!
Choose the Children’s Dental Center
When your child’s first tooth comes in, you know who to call! Our team of expert dentists at the Children’s Dental Center is always at the ready to make sure young smiles stay bright, shiny, and healthy.
If you’re ready to bring your child in for their first visit, schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Collierville, Midtown, Arlington, or East Memphis today!