What is the importance of bringing your child to the dentist?
Dental care should be an important part of everyone’s healthcare routine, including children. Most parents believe there is no need for them to take their child to the dentist until they have a problem, which can end up causing a bigger problem. Allowing your child to skip regular dental appointments and not taking them in at a young age can have far-reaching consequences. It could lead to larger problems later on, with some even occurring in adulthood. It can also create bad dental habits which will be harder to break when they are older.
Dentists recommend that you take your child to the dentist for the first time when they are around 6-12 months or after their first tooth erupts. This might seem too soon for many parents but the earlier your child visits the dentist, the better it is for their oral care. Dentists also recommend that, like adults, children should visit their dentist at least once every 6 months for a regular check-up and clean. This can be instrumental in preventing tooth decay and protecting their teeth for many years to come.
Why You Should Bring Your Child to the Dentist
Bringing your child to the dentist from a young age is an important first step towards good oral and dental healthcare. There are many benefits to this, including:
- Helping them get accustomed: Children are generally afraid of the dentist, and this fear can make their dental appointments challenging. This could cause you to postpone the visit to avoid traumatising your child and could lead to your child never visiting the dentist. This can create bad habits, and even once they are older, could pose a problem to their dental health. Taking them to the dentist from an early age (and regularly) can help your little one grow accustomed to the entire dental check-up, keeping them comfortable and giving them the courage to keep going.
- Helping them get comfortable: Getting used to the dental check-up process is just one factor; your child will also need to spend time getting to know the dentist and staff to build much-needed trust. This can be done by taking them to the dentist from a young age and thereafter for the regular appointments without fail. The more often they visit the dentist, the more they’ll trust the dentist and the more comfortable they will be, making the entire appointment much easier and less traumatising.
- Keeping their teeth clean: Children’s teeth are more vulnerable to disease, damage, and decay than adults and visiting the dentist from a young age can help keep their teeth clean and healthy. If they go to the dentist from a young age, the dentist can monitor their teeth and clean away any plaque and tartar before it forms cavities and causes the tooth to fall out. Regular cleanings are important and forgoing their scheduled appointments can allow bacteria to grow in your child’s mouth unhindered, causing far worse problems than simple plaque growth.
- Overcoming bad habits: Bad dental habits such as nail biting, chewing on pens and pencils, thumb sucking, etc. can cause damage to their teeth and affect the development of their mouth. It can also introduce new and unhealthy bacteria into the mouth. Your dentist will be able to identify these bad habits (through an examination of the mouth) and advise you and your child on the importance of overcoming these habits and provide some tips to doing so.
- Instilling good habits: Helping your child overcome bad habits is one thing, but the dentist can also help instil good dental habits in your child. If your child is comfortable and trusts the dentist (which happens through early and regular exposure), they will be more likely to follow any advice given to them. Your dentist can teach them about the importance of brushing twice a day, flossing every night, and can even teach them proper brushing and flossing techniques.
- Early identification and treatment: Dentists are trained to identify dental problems in their early stages. Through regular visits, your dentist will be able to pick up on any problems or potential problems your child may have and can advise on or begin treatment immediately. Children’s bones are still developing which means they are more vulnerable to damage. Your dentist will be able to treat the problem early on and prevent it from becoming worse or from bothering them in adulthood.
- Ensuring healthy teeth: Getting your child to the dentist as early as possible can help the dentist identify and treat problems, keeping their teeth clean and healthy. If baby teeth fall out too early, the surrounding teeth can begin moving which can cause the permanent teeth to erupt and grow awkwardly and out of position. If your child’s teeth do fall out too early, your dentist can treat it and help the permanent teeth grow correctly.
Whilst many people may not realise its importance, taking your child to the dentist from an early age can really impact their dental health. Regular visits are also important in maintaining good oral health for your child and can help keep their teeth and mouth healthy.
Lara Dental | Geelong
Get your child the dental care they need by bringing them in to visit one of the friendly dentists at Lara Dental in Geelong. Book an appointment today by calling 03 5282 3201, emailing email@example.com, or completing the query form on our Contact Us page.