About 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. To prevent cavities and instill good oral habits, children should visit a kid’s dentist at a young age.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you should take your child to the dentist for the first time by age one or within six months after the first tooth erupts. If you are planning to take your child to the pediatric dentist, here are some questions you may want to ask to get the most out of your visit.
Can I Take My Child to a General Dentist?
While general dentists are trained to handle various dental issues, they do not specialize in dentistry for children. Kids pediatric dentistry is a specialized field of study. Typically, children’s dentists undergo an additional two to three years of specialized training after completing dental school. Thus, while you may want to take your child to a general dentist, it would be wise to instead take your child to a pediatric dentist.
What Happens During the First Visit?
It is normal to feel slightly apprehensive when you take your child to the dentist for the first time, but do not worry. Kids pediatric dentistry is a specialty, and pediatric dentists are trained to deal with children. During your child’s first dental appointment, the pediatric dentist may conduct a thorough examination of your child’s teeth, jaws, bite, and gums to assess oral development. The dentist may also perform a gentle cleaning if tartar, plaque, or stains are detected.
How Often Should I Book Dental Appointments for My Child?
As a rule of thumb, the American Dental Association (ADA) and most pediatric dentists recommend that children visit a dentist at least twice a year. Regular visits to the dentist can ensure dental issues such as overcrowded teeth are detected early. Regular visits can also help get your child used to the dentist so that they don’t feel apprehension in the future.
Can My Child Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
Baby teeth can gather plaque if not cleaned. While toothpaste is not necessary, use a moist toothbrush or washcloth to clean your child’s teeth and prevent tooth decay. However, if your child is at risk of getting cavities, the pediatric dentist may recommend using low fluoride toothpaste.
Can You Teach My Child How to Clean Their Teeth?
Since kids’ pediatric dentistry is a specialized field, kids’ dentists are trained to teach children how to clean their teeth properly. If you are experiencing trouble teaching your child how to brush their teeth, a pediatric dentist can help.
Is There Enough Room in My Child’s Mouth for Permanent Teeth?
Early visits to the dentist can enable the dentists for children to detect any teeth development issues such as overcrowding. Overcrowding is usually the leading cause of crooked teeth due to insufficient space in the mouth. If detected early, pediatric dentists can rectify the issue and prevent costly orthodontic treatment in the future.
Got More Questions?
Do you have a question on your mind that was not answered in the list above? If yes, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to book an appointment. Our dentists have vast experience in kids pediatric dentistry and will be glad to answer all of your questions.