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When you have a child, your life is full of many firsts that can be both frustrating and wonderful. While you may love hearing their first words or seeing their formative steps, you might also dread making their first doctor’s appointment or having them see the dentist before they even have that many teeth. Many parents think that if they don’t have a full set of teeth, then it’s “too early” for a child to see pediatric dentists or start thinking about oral hygiene. Nothing could be further from the truth!
In this brief article, we’re going to explain why visiting an office that practices dentistry for kids can give your child a head start in oral hygiene. In fact, more than 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. Not only can you prevent this by making an appointment and getting your child assessed, but it will help them to be less scared of the dentist as a concept. If you’ve managed to find the right child dentist, this will be even easier. You’ll wonder why you were ever scared in the first place!
Most dentists don’t practice dentistry for kids unless they think they have a knack for it. Believe us, there is plenty of demand in the adult dental market, and so there is really no reason to be a dentist for children unless you enjoy helping them out. Many pediatric dentists have families themselves, and so they literally have dealt (or are currently dealing with) the same frustrations and concerns that you are as a parent. They should be able to relate to you on a parental and personal level, and this is one of the hallmarks of a good pediatric dentist.
Your local pediatric dentist is the foremost authority on oral hygiene for your child. As such, they are in the best position to educate your child about how they should treat their teeth and how important it is. What you should seek (and hopefully see) in your pediatric dentist is a willingness to educate your child about the importance of oral hygiene. If they have a good rapport and keep a comfortable office, they are the ones that can instruct your child about the importance of brushing their teeth and flossing. By instilling these habits as an authority, it will be much easier for you to remind them: “Remember what the dentist said…”
When you have a reputable professional that practices dentistry for kids monitoring your child, they’ll be able to tell you about problems before they start. Since The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) now recommends that a child goes to the dentist by their first year or within six months after their first tooth erupts, this means that your dentist can see any early warning signs of bad development. While you might think that nothing can go wrong before their teeth have even erupted, your pediatric dentist will be the final authority on that.
It’s not so funny to ponder, but even many adults are scared of the dentist. Whether they had bad experiences growing up or failed to learn excellent oral hygiene is beside the point, the dentist is nobody to be scared of. By finding a comfortable office that specializes in dentistry for kids and taking your child there, you’ll be guarding against any irrational fears they might have of the dentist. By being able to go and visit in a safe (and sometimes fun) environment, they will eventually see that there’s nothing to worry about.
Hopefully by now you see that not only is there nothing to fear about going to the dentist, but actually making an appointment could be a great idea. Not only will a competent dentist be able to educate your child and make them feel comfortable, but exposure to the dentist now could save them from problems later on. From eliminating the fear of the dentists to preventing toothaches, it’s worth making the appointment.