Though it may feel like your child is too young for the dentist, experts agree that the earlier children begin a healthy relationship with oral hygiene and the dentist, the better. To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, Monroe, NC Dentist Dr. Leonard Hess reminds parents and caregivers that your child’s oral health is an important part to their overall health and well-being.
One of the most common chronic childhood disease is tooth decay. It affects approximately 50% of first graders and 80% of 17 year olds. Children should begin seeing a dentist by the age of 3 or when the all primary teeth have erupted- earlier if there are other concerns. Not only will this first visit help children get acclimated to the idea of the dentist, it will also help them and their parents learn how to maintain good oral health for the long run. At our Monroe, NC family dentist office, Dr. Hess and our staff take the time to teach children to learn how to properly brush and floss- and have fun taking care of their smile.
Dentists can help parents learn:
- How to care for an infant’s teeth
- If their child is getting enough fluoride
- If and when to wean children off thumb sucking
- Safety measures to prevent face and teeth damage
- What to expect when a child starts teething and losing baby teeth
- The relationship between a baby’s diet and oral health
- What to do and what to not to do surrounding Sippy cups
- How babies can “catch” bacteria from utensils, fingers, and caregivers
Many people are under the impression that baby teeth don’t need to be cared for like adult teeth, but early preventive dental care serves several important purposes, including laying the foundation for a lifetime of good dental health. Children with cavities in their baby teeth are at a much higher risk for cavities later in life. Additionally, baby teeth form a path that permanent teeth will follow when they erupt. Untreated tooth decay can cause speech impediments, pain, and oral infections. Early detection of oral problems allows for conservative and inexpensive treatments.
Habits are formed when children are young. A healthy oral routine, including brushing and flossing, and twice a year visits to the dentist are extremely important to instill in a child. Professional cleanings are just as important in a 2 year old as they are in a 22 year old.
Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Call our Monroe, NC dentist office today to schedule an appointment for your child!