When you get right down to it, parenting often consists of asking yourself one question after another. What’s the best baby swing? Which pediatrician is the most highly recommended? Should we start a college fund? Will anyone know if I feed him cake for breakfast? What are the benefits of a pediatric dentist? When should I take her in for her first dental visit?
Fortunately, we can help you tackle that last one! The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that a child’s first dental visit should occur no later than their first birthday. Children’s Dental Center agrees! Bringing your child in for a dental visit at such a young age may seem surprising, but it’s with good reason. In recent years, studies have shown that preschool-aged children are getting more cavities than ever before. More than 1 in 4 have at least one cavity by the age of four! In fact, many children will develop cavities as early as the age of two.
That’s why, from the time their teeth erupt, it’s beneficial for your child see a dentist on a regular basis. Initiating regular dental visits at an early age helps to maintain their overall oral health, and can also set the stage for a lifetime of good oral health habits. Even if they’re going to lose most of them, children require the same standard that adults do in order to keep their teeth healthy and strong.
The pediatric dentist difference
Your child can visit any dentist you’d like, but it’s often worth taking the time to find one that has experience in treating children. Because they specialize in dental care for children ranging from infants to teenagers, pediatric dentists are better prepared to focus on the specific issues related to children’s oral health, such as handling the emotional and developmental states that can have an impact on a child’s dental appointments.
A trip to the dentist can be scary for people of any age, but especially young children who aren’t sure what to expect. Pediatric dentists have the training and skills to make children feel more comfortable during their dental visits. A kid-friendly environment allows them to feel at ease, and have a more positive experience. A good first impression gives kids the chance to recognize the importance of proper oral health, making them much more likely to practice good dental habits the rest of their lives.
We’ve already given you a lot of great reasons why a pediatric dentist can be a great fit for your child. Need a few more to convince you? No problem!
More formal, specialized training
Pediatric dentists receive additional formal training that family dentists don’t. They’ll spend two to three years in additional training after completing their four years of dental schooling, focusing on child psychology, growth, and development in infants, children, teens, and also children with special needs.
Since pediatric dentists specialize in caring for children’s teeth, they’re better equipped to handle the problems that often occur with children’s mouths. This includes issues like cavities, tooth decay, delayed loss of baby teeth, and sometimes even wisdom teeth. They’re also qualified to administer sedation to patients who are undergoing more invasive and intensive dental treatments.
Keeping your child calm
Because pediatric dentists work with children on a daily basis, they’re very familiar with the common concerns of kids at a dental visit, allowing them to tailor their approach based on each patient’s specific areas of concern. Their experience with calming children helps their patients to feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair.
Bad habits beware
There are several notorious bad habits among children, with thumb sucking and teeth grinding a couple of common ones. Habits like these can be hard to break, but can also harm the teeth. By teaching your child about the importance of breaking these habits in the interest of healthy teeth, a pediatric dentist may be just the push your child needs to nix them for good.
Developmentally-based dental care
Pediatric dentists will be mindful of your child’s age and development, and will use this knowledge to decide how, and when, to introduce healthy dental habits to them. For example, the first view visits to the dentist would generally be geared more toward teaching young children how to properly care for teeth and gums. This focus shifts as they grow, from promoting the healthy development of adult teeth to making good dental hygiene a lifelong endeavor.
Dental care can be fun!
Pediatric dentists have a unique opportunity to build their offices around their young patients. This means they’re often a lot more fun than your conventional dental office, with colorful, themed decor such as aquatic life, a woodland scene, or even outer space. In fact, Children’s Dental Center has an exciting “around the world” theme! Waiting areas will also often feature more fun options for children to keep them occupied as they wait. You may even find it’s tough work convincing your child to leave when their appointment is finished!
Trusting Children’s Dental Center with your child’s smile
Here at Children’s Dental Center, we have two board certified pediatric dentists to provide the very best specialized care for your child. Our pediatric dental services include:
- Preventative oral hygiene and instruction – this includes proper brushing, flossing, and eating habits, as well as checking for ideal fluoride levels and providing sealants.
- Restorative dentistry – providing fillings to correct tooth decay
- Early growth and development evaluations – looking at the growth and development of your child’s dentition, jaws, and craniofacial structure.
Whatever oral issue your child is up against, our pediatric dentists are here to help! With two convenient office locations at Poplar and Houston Levee, we’re proud to serve patients from all over Memphis and the surrounding areas. Our staff are not only friendly and fun-loving, but also experienced, providing skilled service that easily puts children at ease in our offices.
If you’re looking for comprehensive pediatric dental care in the Mid-South, Children’s Dental Center will keep a smile on your child’s face from infancy through adolescence. Get in touch today to schedule an appointment, and get your child started on the road to happy teeth and healthy dental habits!