When Should My Child Have Their First Appointment?One of the most common questions we receive is, when should a child be seen for their very first dental appointment? The answer is earlier than most parents expect. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should be seen for their first visit six months following the eruption of their first baby tooth, or by their first birthday.
Cleanings and ExamsA child needs to have regular cleanings and exams, just like adults, even when their mouth is filled with baby teeth. While the baby teeth are temporary, they are still very important. In addition to helping your child enjoy a wide variety of different foods, the baby teeth help your child develop proper speech patterns. They also serve as space holders for the adult teeth developing underneath.
Your child should have their teeth cleaned and examined every six months. Cleanings allow us to remove all buildup from the surfaces of their teeth, including the spaces that may go missed or not cleaned well. We eliminate plaque, bacteria, and stubborn tartar. With regular cleanings, your child is better able to avoid the development of serious issues like tooth decay and cavities.
With exams, we look over the structures inside of the mouth, checking your child for early warning signs of tooth damage, decay, and other issues. We can monitor their bite. Dental X-rays also allow us to monitor the growth and development of their teeth and jaws and can help us to predict the presence of orthodontic issues. We are then able to provide your child with the treatment they need to ensure a healthy mouth and proper development.
Sealants and Fluoride TreatmentsSealants and fluoride are two preventative treatments that help your child to further protect against the formation of cavities. Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars, where there are deep crevices. These crevices can trap food and bacteria and can be difficult to keep clean. Sealants help to prevent this buildup and make it easier for your child to keep their teeth clean. Fluoride treatments help to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, allowing them to effectively fight off acid attacks that can lead to tooth decay. Fluoride can be applied following every dental cleaning.
Helping Your Child PrepareWe are experienced in providing your child with specialized care in a caring, safe, comfortable environment. We strive to ensure that your child feels at home in our office. We speak in a calm, soothing tone and use of language children can understand. We also demonstrate our tools before using them. Even so, some children can still be anxious about dental visits. Helping your child at home can help to visit seem less frightening.
There are things you can do to help your child prepare. Letting your child know about the appointment ahead of time can give them time to prepare mentally. There are also plenty of books geared toward children that can teach them what to expect during a dental visit in a medium they understand.
Oral hygiene is just as important for children as it is for adolescents and adults. For more information on our dental services for children, and to schedule an appointment for your child, call Smiles of Tulsa at (918) 891-3059 today.