Taking care of your children is something that you desire to do well, which is why it may surprise you to learn that you have already missed the optimal time to take your children for their first dental appointments. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics both agree that children should be taken in for their first dental appointments by the time they reach their first birthdays. This is quite a shock to most veteran parents and new parents alike since most 12-month olds rarely have more than two teeth!
There are specific reasons why it is recommended that children visit the dentist at such a young age. Here are the main benefits of early dental care:
- Allow children to be comfortable with the dentist. Many adolescents and even adults find that they suffer from anxieties when it comes to visiting the dentist. Many of these anxieties can be avoided from an early exposure to the dentist. When very young children are brought into the dentist and begin their dental care early, they are comfortable visiting the dentist’s office. They understand that it is just a normal part of life to visit the dentist on a regular basis, and they are much more likely to have positive associations with dental care.
- Educate parents on proper oral care. The baby teeth are easily susceptible to cavities because of how fast they come in and the lack of proper oral care from very young children. Parents are completely responsible for the health of their children’s teeth, and they must actively do their part to ensure that their children’s teeth stay healthy. Not only does this include the parents brushing their children’s teeth twice a day, but it also includes maintaining a healthy diet for their children. Juice, soda, and sweet tea have no part in a child’s diet as they can increase the chance of childhood diabetes and tooth decay. Candy, fruit snacks, and other foods high in sugar can also wreck havoc on children’s teeth and should be avoided.
- Identify and break bad oral habits. While pacifiers and thumb sucking are methods for children to make themselves at ease and comfortable, they can cause significant damage to the teeth. Falling asleep at the breast or with a bottle is also damaging to the teeth. Children’s teeth should be brushed at night before going to bed. Allowing children to fall asleep drinking milk leaves their teeth covered in sugar, making them vulnerable to cavities.
At Green Dental of Alexandria, we are proud to serve the youngest patients with exceptional dental care. We understand the importance of children getting off to a positive and healthy start, and we encourage all patients to bring their children into our practice as early as possible. Contact us today to schedule an appointment
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria
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1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725