Start them young!
Here is why we recommend bringing your little ones to the pediatric dentist as early as possible!
How young is too young to take your child to the dentist and vice versa… this question comes up very often among our parent patients. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the topic of baby teeth, and we are here to give you some clarity. We know that you want to set your child up for success in every aspect of their lives…so let’s not overlook oral hygiene! Here are a few explanations from our talented team of pediatric dentists regarding the importance of early dental visits.
We, along with The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that your child goes to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after their first tooth erupts. Primary (baby) teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age. We often hear people say- but they are baby teeth, won’t they just fall out? While they will eventually fall out to make way for the permanent teeth, they serve a very important purpose in the interim.
First off- they are a very important placeholder to keep the space open for the adult teeth to come in. They help children chew properly which allows for proper jaw development while getting the nutrients they need from solid foods. They are also helpful in proper speech development patterns, as both the tongue and jaw use the baby teeth in the formation of early words. So even though they are temporary in the mouth- they are very important for your child’s long-term health and development.
A major factor that prevents some parents from bringing their young children to the dentist is fear! Parents are scared of traumatizing their children by exposing them to a dental office too early. This is usually tied to experiences that they have had in their own lives…without much to do with their child! We know that dental offices have a bad rep, but at Pearly Whites we genuinely fight to change that conception. From our modern decor to our staff’s smiling faces, it is a priority of ours that patients feel relaxed, heard, and understood.
If you still think your child might be frightened, here are some tips we’ve picked up over the years. Bring them to our office before the appointment. We have an excellent play area and a vibrant, brightly colored office. Have them come by and hang out when they don’t have an appointment so they can begin to acclimate to their surroundings and have positive associations with our office. We can give them a tour and explain to them about how we are going to clean and count their teeth. Once children begin to understand the process, their fear diminishes dramatically. Of course, we will also give them some prizes and toys to go home with! This leads us to our second tip, have some fun with them! Play make-believe dentist when you’re at home. The more it’s brought up and played with the less of a “big deal” the appointment will be. As with everything else in life, it is best to bring your child in when they are well rested and well fed.
A healthy foundation is an important aspect in life no matter what you are working on. Taking your baby to the dentist will not only give them the education they need to stay healthy- it can have many positive long-term effects. Reach out to Pearly Whites with any questions or concerns you may have. Our staff will be thrilled to help you.