Visiting the dentist isn’t exactly fun for adults, and is often even less fun for kids. As parents, this can be a problem. Dragging your kids to the dentist may feel like quite the event, but it’s also a vital part of maintaining overall health.
Why Dental Hygiene is Important for Children
Sometimes, it can be easy to assume that dental hygiene isn’t important for young ones. After all, they have baby teeth, teeth that are made to fall out before adulthood. However, regular dental checkups are important, beginning in the first few years of childhood.
Per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, taking care of baby teeth is vital for several reasons. To begin, baby teeth help children to speak clearly and chew correctly. According to Cashion Dental, a provider of affordable braces, baby teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth, serving as paths for the permanent teeth to follow. Regular dental care of these baby teeth helps prevent decay by removing plaque and bacteria. It can also help prevent dental problems and fix minor issues before they have a chance to turn into major ones.
Taking your child to the dentist also helps instill the importance of dental hygiene; it teaches them to brush, floss, and get checkups every six months. This importance becomes greater when kids get older as sub-par dental care has been linked to other ailments. One of the biggest concerns is the direct relationship between gum disease and heart disease.
When Your Child Should First Go
According to Cashion Dental, a clinic devoted to comprehensive and preventative patient care, there are differing opinions as to when your child should first be brought to a dentist. Some dentists suggest bringing them in as soon as their first tooth appears, while others suggest a visit before their second birthday. Still, others recommend bringing kids in at the age of three. In truth, there might not be much difference in whether or not a child is brought in at 12 months or 36 months. However, waiting too long can lead to dental problems that are not easily remedied. There is a huge difference between bringing a child in for their first visit at two years and bringing them in at eight years.
Making the Trip Easier
Some children may go to the dentist easily, others may kick and scream. You can increase your odds of getting your child in the chair with ease by taking a few proactive steps. Make an appointment at a pediatric dentist’s office rather than an adult one. Pediatric dentists are generally better trained at easing the minds of their young patients. Their offices are also more kid-friendly, replete with toys, games, and visual stimuli, that are sure to put your child at ease. In addition, practice with your child. A few days before their appointment, sit down and explain what will happen. You may even want to demonstrate on them or allow them to demonstrate on their favorite doll. It is also a good idea to consider scheduling an introductory visit before the actual appointment. This is a time that allows your child a chance to meet the dentist without having anything done to them.