Did you know that 42 percent of children between two and 11 years old have had cavities? Yes, their diet plays a role in the number of cavities they get. But, their dental hygiene routine plays a huge role as well.
If you haven’t taken your little one to the dentist yet, you may want to consider it.
Even if your child only has a few teeth, there are many benefits of taking them for their first dental exam. Of course, it becomes extra important when they have all their primary teeth and are learning how to take care of them.
Wondering what pediatric dental exams entail? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
Why Does My Toddler Need to See the Dentist?
Dental checkups are an integral part of healthy teeth and mouths. The earlier your child can learn about dental hygiene and oral care, the sooner they can practice these skills.
Here are some of the key benefits of seeing a pediatric dentist.
1. Getting Accustomed to the Process
Your child will be going to the dentist for the rest of their life. But, did you know that over 60 percent of adults have anxiety around this common occurrence?
By getting your kid used to the dentist’s office and the procedures that happen there, they learn what to expect. Positive experiences at the office early can help prevent them from having fear and anxiety around the dentist as they grow.
2. Childhood Tooth Decay
Over 26,000 children between five and nine years of age were admitted to the hospital for tooth decay last year. For a disease commonly associated with the adults and seniors, that’s a shocking statistic!
Toddlers and babies can develop tooth decay from falling asleep with bottles in their mouths. And, from not practicing good dental hygiene habits early.
Getting regular dental exams helps you and the dentist monitor their teeth for decay. At the earliest sign of it, the dentist can start treating it.
3. Habit Counselling
Ingraining dental hygiene habits into your children’s lives can be challenging.
Luckily, pediatric dentists have ample experience with habit counseling. Many parents lean on their pediatric dentist’s knowledge to help them encourage good habits.
At the dental exam, the dentist can teach your child how to brush their teeth and why it’s important. Sometimes, rules coming from an adult outside the family make them more serious to children.
4. Preventative Oral Care
Cavities, decay, and stains are common side effects of poor dental hygiene. Eventually, those issues can turn into periodontitis and other teeth and mouth diseases.
Pediatric dentistry is about preventative care.
Getting regular dental exams ensures your child’s teeth are monitored for signs of issues. By spotting an issue early, the dentist can help treat it and prevent it from getting worse.
When Should I Schedule Their Exam?
It’s best to schedule your child’s first exam when their first tooth has come in or before their first birthday. Whichever comes first.
Then, book a regular checkup every six months. Your dentist may recommend appointments more frequently if there are issues or extra care is needed.
What Happens During Their First Exam?
You may be thinking, “what could the dentist possibly examine when my child only has one tooth?” That’s a fair thought.
The first pediatric exam isn’t necessarily about flossing and fluoride-use. This appointment is about showing your child that the dentist’s office is a safe and fun place to be.
Pediatric dentists are used to working with nervous children. They’ll do everything they can to make the experience positive.
During the first exam, the dentist and support staff will get to know you and your child. They’ll likely tour you around the office and show your child all the toys.
Once in the chair, the dentist will assess your child’s teeth and mouth. They may take x-rays if needed and will guide you and your child on hygiene habits to start using.
How Can I Prepare My Child for Their Exam?
To prepare your child for their first exam, don’t give them anything to worry about. Use positive language. For example, say “you get to go to the dentist!” instead of “you have to go to the dentist.”
Remember that children can pick up on their parents’ emotions. If you feel anxious about this appointment, then your child might too.
What if your child is already nervous and scared? Consider going in for a pre-appointment meeting. Bring your child in to meet the staff and see the office. They can play with the toys and create a good experience in the office.
Also, remember that the pediatric dental office staff is trained to work with children. They’ll have their own strategies for making kids feel comfortable and at ease.
How Can I Find a Pediatric Dentist?
When looking for the right pediatric dentist for your family, there are a few things to consider.
Start by asking friends and family members for their recommendations. Word of mouth marketing is the most reliable and authentic kind. You should also read reviews online from different offices.
Life with children can be stressful and chaotic. The right dental office for you is flexible with their appointment hours and cares about your convenience.
The pediatric dentists should have many years of experience in the field. Don’t hesitate to set up a meeting in person before booking.
In the office, look for professionalism, cleanliness, and child-centered environment. That might mean there are toys for babies, games for kids, and maybe even video games for older children.
Ready to Book Pediatric Dental Exams for Your Children?
It’s never too early to get your child accustomed to going to the dentist’s office. Taking them to their first dental hygiene appointment is an important step.
When booking pediatric dental exams, choose a pediatric dental office you can trust. Kids Stop Dental has the experience and enthusiasm to ensure your children’s teeth are taken care of in a positive environment.
Contact us to book your first appointment.