Dental care for the young one’s should start when the first teeth begin to show and before the child is one year old. Many parents tend to postpone and start making arrangements only when the child starts experiencing dental problems. Most of these problems can be prevented if the parents start seeing a children dentist before the first birthday.
Taking your child to a dentist early will help get him or her used to the oral health care provider. You should choose a specific dentist and stick with him or her all through. This will ensure that your child and the doctor develop a good relationship thus making dental visits much smoother. The child is likely to co-operate if they are comfortable with the person performing the procedures. However, you can move to another health care facility if you feel that you or the child are not comfortable with the dentist. But this is unlikely since most personnel in pediatric dentistry are usually very friendly.
During the first visit, the parent will get a lot of guidance on how to care for the little one’s teeth. The level of care will depend on how often and when you feed the child. When the child is still young, you can visit the dentist every six months or more often depending on the doctor’s recommendations. Between the ages of one and four, the child will get basic care. At the age of five, they may have the first X-ray to check for cavities between teeth.
When the baby teeth begin to fall off, you have to be very strict with dental hygiene. If care is not taken, the permanent teeth will be damaged. You can supervise them when brushing and flossing to ensure that they are doing it right. The dentist may recommend a sealant especially for the cavity prone molars. The sealant will prevent the cavity causing bacteria from getting into the teeth.
At the age of five or above, the dentist will recommend an orthodontic evaluation to identify improper bites and crooked teeth. If the teeth are not positioned properly, their function is affected and they may also affect the child’s smile. He or she may be ridiculed in school and this may ruin self-esteem and confidence. Crooked teeth also make it hard to clean the teeth and this may lead to periodontal diseases and tooth decay. Difficulty in chewing food or talking stresses the muscles and this could lead to neck pain, headaches and TMJ syndrome. Many parents wait until the child is in their teens before considering orthodontic assessments and treatment. It is only a dentist who can determine if one needs orthodontic treatment especially at such a young age. A dentist will do the assessment and then recommend the most suitable treatment plan for your child.
With pediatric dental care and proper hygiene practice, you will prevent dental problems and correct misaligned teeth to give your child the best smile and optimally functional teeth.