Start Getting Your Kids to the Family Dentist Early!
We all want to be the best parents we can be, and all of us have put caring for our children’s health at the top of our to do lists. The first questions many parents are which doctor to visit and when? But what about dentistry? Dental development is at its most active during childhood, so getting great dental care is important for your child’s overall health.
Should I Choose a Family Dentist or a Pediatric Dentist?
This is a good question. Many new parents are confused as to what they differences are between a family dentist who treats children, and a pediatric dentist. Here are a few insights to help you understand this issue:
- A family dentist sees the whole family, not just the children. This means that your family dentist knows the entire family and establish a better oral picture for your child and recommend treatment options based on family predispositions to to certain oral conditions.
- A family or general dentist can provide life-long oral care where as a pediatric dentist provides care up to a certain age.
- Pediatric dentists specialize in dental issues that are present during childhood, or affect only children. If your child is facing serious dental problems that require the care of a specialist, then it’s a good choice to see a pediatric dentist.
- Family dentists are trained in the emotional needs of children in dental care, and can provide compassionate and specialized care for your child, while keeping you up to speed on how to provide at-home care.
When Should My Child Start Going to the Dentist?
Oral health care should start earlier than most people think. In fact, your dentist should see your child after the first teeth start to emerge at around six months of age, and most family dentists advocate that a child’s first dental visit occur within their first year. While that might seem really young, there are some important reasons for this:
- Young children are at risk for problems such as cavities caused by sleeping with bottles.
- Family dentists can help you handle complications related to teething or “mouthing” objects.
- Solving or preventing bacterial problems caused by sharing eating utensils.
- Creating treatment plans based on family predisposition to dental problems.
- Help in developing healthy dental practices early.
- Starting dental care early will help your child develop a good relationship with the dentist and help them to reduce anxiety and feel comfortable with dental care throughout their life. While this might seem less important than other problems- dental anxiety is the #1 reason that patients avoid getting dental care.
- Early care lays a good foundation for future care and assure proper development.
When you provide early dental care for children it helps create healthy habits that they keep as adolescents and young adults. You only get one smile during your life, and the right dental care is the best way to make sure it lasts!