It’s very common for parents to overlook the importance of letting their kids see the dentist as early as possible. As experts believe, a visit to the dentist should be done the moment the first primary tooth erupts. Through general dentistry for kids, children get to avoid potential oral problems not only to their primary teeth but to their permanent teeth as well. A well-known dentist from Good Choice’s family dental clinic in Burwood emphasizes the importance on why a child should see the dentist regularly.
Did you know that based on statistics, the average healthy two-year old has never visited a pediatric dentist? The sad reality is that only 25% of children have seen a dentist by the age of five.
Since tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the nation, children must see a pediatric dentist at an early age to help them avoid dental decay. This practice can also prevent the possibility of more serious oral diseases.
When Should a Child Start Seeing a Pediatric Dentist?
According to pediatric dental practitioners, a child should have their first dental visit as soon as their first tooth erupts or no later than their first birthday. The child’s pediatrician can refer you to a pediatric dentist that’s near you. During the first dental exam, the pediatric dentist will examine the child’s oral cavity (teeth and other areas of the mouth), assess for problems upon the progress of the oral health, and give oral health teachings regarding regular dental maintenance and protection against tooth decay.
Why Pediatric Dentists Don’t Recommend Sugar and other Sweet Stuff for Kids
A baby’s continuous exposure to sugary formula, milk, or juice in their baby bottles and cups can trigger a so-called baby bottle tooth decay. When teeth are submerged in these substances, it promotes the development of tooth decay. Once left untreated, this condition can lead to major pain, infection in the oral cavity, and severe decay that could require tooth extraction. But by reducing the exposure to sugary liquids and gently wiping their teeth and gums a few times a day, you can significantly reduce the risk of the development of this disease.
Here are the most effective tips for parents to decrease the risk of early childhood tooth decay:
- Wean the child off of the bottle or breast by age one.
- Do not let children use baby bottles or cups throughout the day and limit them to only meals and snack times.
- Encourage children to drink sugary beverages through a straw to reduce contact with teeth.
- Wipe baby’s gums with a damp cloth after every feeding, when they wake, and at bedtime.
- Start brushing the child’s teeth with a soft-bristled brush and water as soon as their first tooth emerges.
- Take the child to see a pediatric dentist by age one or when their first tooth appears.
- Follow the care and cleaning advice of the pediatric dentist to preserve the child’s dental health.