In addition to teaching your little one about proper brushing and oral care at home, early dental intervention is crucial to oral health. Getting your child used to routine cleanings and regular checkups underscores the importance of seeing the dentist. Staying on top of your child’s oral health provides your dentist with insight into oral care, helps determine future orthodontic needs, and prioritizes dental health for your family.
Many times, there are developmental cues, such as the appearance of your child’s first teeth, that tell you it’s time to take your child to the dentist. Ideally, you’ll want to take your child to the dentist before there are any issues with their teeth. This gives your little one an opportunity to meet the dentist and staff, see the office and exam area, and address any apprehension going forward. Here are some signs to look for so you know when it’s the right time to take your child to the dentist.
1. Baby’s First Tooth
Baby’s first tooth is most definitely a milestone. While 6 months (the average age a baby’s first tooth appears) may seem a little young for a visit, it’s important for parents and baby to schedule a first dental appointment within 6 months of the tooth’s appearance. Your child’s dentist will provide information on the following at this time:
- Infant feeding practices
- Cleaning your baby’s mouth/new teeth
- Pacifier use/thumb-sucking
- Teething, what to expect and when to expect it
- Baby bottle tooth decay
2. Teeth Are Growing Incorrectly
If your child’s first teeth are coming in crowded or crooked, it could indicate the need for future orthodontic intervention, such as braces or mouth appliances. Your child’s dentist will provide you with information so you know what to expect. They may even be able to intervene as the permanent teeth come in so any orthodontia isn’t quite as involved.
3. Mouth Injury
Little ones like to meet the world head on. Sometimes it results in injury to their mouth. Anytime your child sustains a sports-related mouth injury, or any other mouth injury, take your child to the dentist ASAP. A children’s dentist is adept at knowing the signs of a dental injury, even if it isn’t visible to you. A mouth injury left untreated can develop an abscess, infection, and cause tremendous pain.
4. You Notice a Cavity
Many parents assume a cavity in a baby tooth isn’t cause for concern. After all, baby teeth fall out. However, unhealthy baby teeth can impact permanent teeth and cause problems below the gum line. If your child has a cavity or complains of pain in their mouth, take your child to the dentist.
We Specialize in Children’s Dentistry
Taking care of your child’s oral health early on paves the way for a lifetime of health and wellness. The professionals at Healthy Smiles Children’s Dentistry have the knowledge and experience necessary to ease your child’s fears and your concerns. Contact Healthy Smiles Children’s Dentistry today. It’s time to take your child to the dentist.