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The Importance of Early Dental Visits for Children

Schedule your child’s first visit at the children’s dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday at the latest. Nevertheless, most parents fail to realise the importance of early oral care and thus, delay the child’s first dental check-up to a later age. This post will discuss why it is necessary to start taking the child to a dentist early, the advantages of early dental check-ins, and how to make the child’s first dental visits positive and fruitful.


Establishing a Dental Home to Prevent and Identify Dental Problems in Their Infancy

Another major aim of the initial dental visits is to create a dental home for your child. A dental home is defined as the dentist-patient relationship where the dentist is responsible for the oral health care of the individual, comprehensive, accessible, coordinated, and family-centered continuously. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has recommended that a child should visit a dentist by the time the child is one year old or when the child gets his/her first tooth. Taking your child to a dental clinic right from infancy helps the child get used to the dental clinic and its environment and hence is less likely to be afraid of dental procedures.

Seeing the dentist at an early age helps in the early detection of dental problems and their solution. Dental caries is a prevalent childhood chronic disease that develops as soon as the child’s first tooth emerges. These are some of the benefits of having dental checkups regularly; one can be able to identify cavities, gum disease, and any other oral health complications at an advanced stage. Other preventive measures like fluoride applications and dental sealants can be done to your child’s teeth to reduce the chances of decay.


Educating Parents and Children

There is another important aspect that is related to the early dental visits and that is education. Thus, dentists can offer parents proper recommendations for oral hygiene, diet, and nutrition that have a direct impact on the child’s oral health. They can also show and explain to a child how to brush and floss his or her teeth and explain that sugary snacks and beverages are not good for the teeth. If parents are informed about the proper oral care of children at a young age, they will easily adopt the right dental care practices in their lifetime.


Reducing Dental Anxiety

It helps the child combat fear and anxiety that are usually related to dental visits if they are introduced to the dentist at a young age. Thus, children should be gradually introduced to the dental setting, instruments, and personnel so that they do not feel threatened when it is time to visit the dentist. Such experiences create a strong foundation for the child and the dentist and make dental visits a normal part of the child’s healthcare needs.



Monitoring Growth and Development Whilst Promoting Overall Health

It is also important to take your child to the dentist as soon as the first baby tooth erupts to track the development of the teeth and the jaws. Dentists can check if the teeth are developing correctly and if there are any signs of potential problems in the bite or malocclusions that can be treated by an orthodontist in the future. It is recommended to act at the initial stage of a disease since problems can be solved before they become critical, and the corresponding treatment will not be as complicated and aggressive.

This paper will also focus on the relationship between oral health and general health. Consequences of children’s poor oral health include dental pain, infections, and difficulties with eating and speaking which in turn hampers growth, development, and learning in school. Thus, taking children to the dentist at an early age will help in maintaining the good oral health of the children and therefore their health in general. Also, diseases including diabetes, heart diseases, and respiratory diseases have been associated with oral health; this makes it even more imperative to observe good oral hygiene.


Creating a Positive Attitude to Dental Care With Customised Care

It is recommended to go to the dentist at an early age and go often to help establish a good attitude towards dental hygiene. When kids understand that going to the dentist is a common and required part of life, they will be more likely to continue going to the dentist in the future. This positive attitude implies that there may be improved oral health behaviors and may also result in better dental health in the future. Each child is different and has different needs, that is why their dental care should also be individual. First, the dentist gets the opportunity to know your child and the specifics of his or her oral health and provide the necessary prevention measures. In case of any concerns on teething, thumb sucking or any other issue concerning the child, the dentist can offer a recommendation that will suit your child.


Tips on How to Have a Good First Visit to the Dentist

Knowing the benefits of early dental visits, it is equally imperative to make sure the first dental visit for your child is a good one. Here are some tips to help you prepare for that first visit:Here are some tips to help you prepare for that first visit:

  1. Choose a Pediatric Dentist: These are the dentists who are trained to treat children’s dental needs. They are good at making children comfortable and coming up with activities that children can easily engage in.
  2. Start Early: As stated, have the child’s first dental visit occur no later than one year of age or within six months of the eruption of the first tooth.
  3. Prepare Your Child: You should explain to your child words about the dentist positively. Tell him or her what will happen during the visit in a language that he or she will easily understand.
  4. Role Play: It is possible to act out being a dentist at home to make your child understand what will happen. The child should then use a toothbrush to count and inspect the teeth.
  5. Bring Comfort Items: This is why it is recommended to bring your child’s favorite toy or blanket to the visit to make the child feel more comfortable.
  6. Stay Calm and Positive: Kids are very perceptive of what the parents are going through. It will also help if you remain calm and hopeful so that your child does not feel as anxious.
  7. Schedule Wisely: It is preferable to do this at a time of the day when the child is usually alert and in a good temper. Do not burden them during nap time or eating time as the child will be least available and least interested.
  8. Be a Good Role Model: That is why you should take your child to a dental clinic for checkups and cleanings, and model proper oral care by also visiting the dentist regularly.

Starting your child for a dental check-up at an early age is paramount in protecting their dental health and body. Some advantages of preventive and therapeutic dental visits include; timely identification and prevention of dental problems, education for parents and children, alleviating dental fear and anxiety, and tracking children’s growth and development. In this way, by creating a dental home and a positive attitude towards dental care from early childhood, you will contribute to the formation of your child’s healthy smile for the rest of their lives. Do not procrastinate – call and make an appointment for your child’s first visit to a dentist and get started on your child’s perfect smile.