Oral Health Care For Your Child

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As an adult, you already know the importance of your oral health. Once you have children, you want to ensure that they know how important it is to take care of their teeth. You can start teaching your child about oral health as soon as their first tooth erupts. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child on their first dental visit no later than their first birthday.This article will explain what that's important, and provide other tips on how to teach your child how to maintain a healthy smile.

Importance of Seeing a Dentist

The best time for a child to start seeing a dentist, whether it be a pediatric dentist or a family dentist, is important when they are young, because it allows the dentist to be able to examine the development of your child's mouth. Seeing a dentist early on also helps to identify problems like tooth decay because of a baby bottle, or other mouth and gum irritations.  Determining between a pediatric dentist and general dentist is usually based on parental preference, but pediatric dentists specialize more in treatment specifically for children. 

At the first dental visit, the dentist will perform a exam of the oral tissues, gums, jaw and bite. They will give your child a cleaning, perhaps polishing the teeth to remove any plaque and stains. They will also show you how to brush your child's teeth properly, until they are old enough to brush on their own. Your dentist may give your child fluoride if it's deemed necessary. 

As Your Child Grows

Having your child see a dentist early on will help them become accustomed to dental visits, and make help ease natural fears and anxieties. The dentist can keep a close eye on your child's growth. Many parents falsely believe that their children don't really need to see a dentist until they lose their baby teeth. However, it's important to have any decayed baby teeth fixed so that surrounding teeth don't end up with issues. Untreated cavities can lead to severe pain, loss of teeth and the loss of spacing needed for permanent teeth. Talk to places like A Wild Smile for more information.

You can lead by example when it comes to the importance of oral health. As infants, parents can clean their gums with a clean, damp cloth. When you child grows older, you can teach them how to properly brush their teeth.  Remember that children like to mimic their parents, so you may want to have your child brush their teeth right alongside you.