Keeping your little ones’ teeth healthy is very important whether it’s their primary or permanent teeth. A rule of thumb for visiting a pediatric dentist the first time for your child is right when they sprout a little sparkling pearl from their gums. This could be within 6 months of age as guided by AAP and AAPD.
For many parents, It’s too early to bring their little ones to a dentist when they are only six months old but they must keep these things in mind to understand how important this task is:
Early visits are usually about your baby getting used to going to the dentist.
The dentist will look for not only any tooth problem but also the whole mouth including gums, lips, tongue, breathing patterns, early orthodontic issues and lymph nodes for any infections.
It also educates the parents on how to look after their little ones’ teeth according to their mouth conditions.
Remember 80% of the children will get cavities in the first 3 years of life. About half of kindergarten and elementary school children will miss 3-5 days of school due to a dental appointment . All this can be avoided with early check ups.
Most expensive dental appointment is the one in which your child needs to be sedated for a dental procedure. Early preventive visits can help keep the child healthy and safe.
Most parents think baby teeth are going to fall out anyway so why worry about them. Reality is most of the back baby molars don’t exfoliate until 11-12 years old .
A pediatric dentist can also suggest some recommendations for your little one with a pacifier habit or a finger-sucking issue. By using the correct pacifier you can prevent orthodontic problems in the future.
It is always better to be safe than sorry! So, take your baby regularly to visit the dentist (at least twice a year) whether you notice anything unusual or not. Other early changes in your baby’s mouth that require a dentist visit can be; any white spot on the teeth, lesions in the mouth, bluish bruises where a tooth tries to erupt, ulcers, grinding, or any tongue issue. Difficulty with latching on the bottle or nipple due to tongue tie ( Ankyloglossia), lip tie issues ( Maxillary Labial Fibrotic Frenum). These conditions can be corrected painlessly in the early stage of life usually with a laser.
Make your baby think about the dentist visit as a happy and fun experience. Remember, the dentist, you and your little one are on the same team!