How Often Should a Child Visit the Dentist
Helping your child to take care of their mouth is important. Teaching them to brush and floss helps them to develop good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. However, care at home is only a part of the dental success of your child. Just like you, your child needs to visit the dentist. At Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry, we can provide your child with the care they need to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. However, just how often does your child need to visit?
How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should, just like you, have a visit every six months. These regular visits include both a cleaning and an exam, which allow us to help your child thoroughly clean their teeth, preventing cavities and gum disease, as well as provide treatment if we notice any oral health issues beginning to form.
When Should My Child Have Their First Visit?
Many parents wonder when they should bring their child in for their first dental visit. The first visit should occur probably earlier than you think. The AAPD recommends that your child has their first dental visit six months following the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday, whichever one happens first. The first visit is designed for you and your child to get to know us and for us to get to know you and your child. We take a quick look at their teeth and clean them if necessary. We can also provide you with information on such things as proper oral hygiene, oral habits, and nutrition for healthy teeth and gums. We will also take the time to answer any questions that you might have regarding the dental care of your child.
Why Does My Child Need Dental Visits When They Lose Their Baby Teeth?
It is a common misconception that just because the baby teeth are temporary, they are not important, and therefore do not need to be carefully cared for. The truth, however, is that the baby teeth play many important roles in the mouth of your child. They give your child their adorable smile. They help your child to bite and chew food. They foster speech development. The baby teeth also act as placeholders, saving space in the jaw for the adult teeth as they develop below the gums and get ready to emerge. Issues such as tooth decay, cavities, and dental trauma can significantly affect the health of these baby teeth and can lead to premature tooth loss. If the baby teeth are lost too early, it can affect the development and proper eruption of the adult teeth.
Any infections inside a baby tooth can also make their way into the developing adult teeth below. Regular dental visits are designed to help your child prevent these issues and treat any that do arise. We are also able to monitor the growth and development of your child to make sure that there are no issues with their teeth and jaws as they grow. Additionally, we can provide your child with tips on how to properly care for their teeth at home and stress the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene.
Regular professional dental care is an integral component of helping your child to maintain the health of their mouth. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141.