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When Should A Child See A Dentist For The First Time?
Experts say that kids should go to the dentist by their first birthdays. Good dental care starts early. When kids don’t get the dental care that they need, they may suffer serious consequences. A study published in 2011, in The American Journal of Public Health, showed that poor oral health in children led to academic problems and absences from school. Taking your son or daughter to the dentist near his or her first birthday is one of the most caring and responsible things that you can do as a parent. If you haven’t taken your child to the dentist by age one, take him or her as soon as you can.
How to prepare your child
You may worry about taking a very young child to the dentist. Don’t worry too much. Most dentists have a lot of experience taking care of babies and toddlers. You may get your child excited about what’s going to happen by going to your local library and choosing a children’s book about going to the dentist. Read the story at bedtime. When your child associates a trip to the dentist with something comforting (i.e. you reading a story), he or she will await the visit in a positive frame of mind. Some books about going to the dentist feature characters that kids love, such as Caillou and Dora the Explorer.
How often should your child go?
Your child should see a dentist once every six months. This recommendation comes from The American Association for Pediatric Dentistry. Tartar and plaque buildup by six months and need to be removed by a licensed dentist. When you stick to this sensible schedule, you’ll know that your child is being well taken care of.
Preventing cavities in babies
A popular toothpaste company has some helpful tips for parents who want to minimize or eliminate children’s cavities. The company recommends using a soft baby toothbrush and water to care for an infant’s mouth and any emerging teeth. Another suggestion is to avoid giving baby bottles with sugary drinks to your infant. Sugary drinks trigger tooth decay. Dental caries is a serious issue for babies. However, the New York Times reports that dental caries in infants are not as prevalent as they were in previous years. Parents are paying more attention to the oral health of their babies and young children.
What about older kids?
You may help your child to brush and floss until your little one is old enough to do it by himself or herself. You may also promote good oral health by offering healthy snacks and drinks. Examples of healthy snacks that don’t promote tooth decay include unsweetened peanut butter, fresh fruit, veggies, cheese, and yogurt. Water and milk are the most appropriate drink options for children.
Now that you know when you should take your child to the dentist, as well as how often your son or daughter should go to the dentist, you’ll be ready to take good care of your child’s teeth. The dental health tips shared here will assist you with caring for your child’s teeth at home.