Most pediatric dentists recommend that children ages 12 months and up visit the dentist at least twice yearly. Some dentists recommend more frequent visits. Babies should start visiting a pediatric dentist when their first tooth emerges, usually before 12 months.
Benefits of Early Dental Care
Children Feel More Comfortable
When children visit the dentist early, they build warm, trusting relationships with practitioners. Positive experiences at the dentist build a sense of confidence and security. Children who receive early care are less likely to develop dental anxiety or phobia in later life.
Pediatric dentists can track a child's oral development and detect any potential issues that may arise in later years.
Detect Problems at Earlier Stages
Regular visits enable pediatric dentists to find problems like tooth decay before they become severe. The sooner these issues receive treatment, the more likely the child can continue to enjoy excellent oral health.
Support Lifelong Oral Health
Children who receive early dental care grow into adults with better oral health. They maintain positive home care habits and enjoy better outcomes. They have lower rates of tooth decay, gum disease, and other potentially costly problems.
How A Pediatric Dental Visit Works
The dentist may order X-rays for older children, though these are generally limited in younger children unless the child has a history of tooth decay.
The next step is teeth cleaning. The dentist or hygienist uses a gentle polishing tool to remove plaque and stains.
Next, the dentist performs a complete oral exam. The dentist checks the teeth for proper development and looks for possible problems. If the doctor ordered X-rays, they will review them.
Pediatric dentists and hygienists teach children and parents how to care for their teeth at home properly. They answer questions about feeding and childhood habits.
The visit typically ends with a fluoride treatment. Many pediatric dentists today use a varnish that hardens upon contact with saliva and is safe for the youngest children.
Frequently Asked Questions About Early Dental Care
Why should I choose a pediatric dentist over a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists receive three years of extra training and education to teach them to work with children. They make dental visits fun and engaging. Their offices center around children's needs, with special child-sized equipment for comfort.
Pediatric dentists have special skills for calming, distracting, and comforting anxious patients. They also have a gift for teaching children important lessons about their oral health in a gentle, memorable way.
Should I brush my baby's teeth?
It's essential to clean your baby's teeth. Before the first teeth emerge, gently wipe the gums with a damp baby washcloth after each feeding. When the baby's teeth appear, brush them with a soft infant toothbrush and a tiny smear of children's fluoride toothpaste. Brush twice a day.
Call Briarcliff Children's Dentistry and Orthodontics
We can help you introduce your child to dental care and start them on the path toward lifelong oral health. Please call our Briarcliff Manor, NY, office at 914-762-6260 to schedule an appointment today.