Going to see the dentist can be tricky with children. It’s a new experience with strange sights, sounds, and sensations. Knowing when your child should be seeing a dentist is an advantage for new parents, but it is even better to have some idea of how you can prepare your child. Now, let’s look at reasons for kids to see a dentist.
Reasons for Kids to See A Dentist
In this brief guide we’ll discuss initial visits, acclimating your child to the experience, and causes for concern. Of course, every family is different, and you may still have some questions remaining. Fortunately, you can always give your pediatric dentist in Bloomington a call to get quick responses to most if not all of your concerns.
When Should You Take Your Baby to Their First Appointment?
The American Dental Association suggests that babies should see their pediatric dentist within six months of their first tooth emerging. At the latest, your little one should see their dentist for the first time when they are about one year old. It may seem super early, but this appointment allows your dentist to check for developmental complications, while also getting your child used to this crazy new environment.
Preparing Your Child for the Dentist
To prepare your child for this appointment, you should consider taking them to visit their dentist’s office a few days before the appointment. Walk in, say hi to the receptionist, stop to read your little one a short story or play with a toy, then leave. Just make the entire experience as positive as possible.
You may also consider reading them books about going to the dentist. Just be careful that the books you choose don’t cover any potentially “scary” subjects. Something that covers a typical dental cleaning is perfect. Building on this, you can “play” dentist at home. Have them lean back in a chair and open their mouth for you. Make it as fun as possible.
Most importantly, keep your own anxiety in check. If you or your partner struggles with dental anxiety or worries about your little one’s reaction, your child will pick up on it. They don’t know a whole lot yet, but they do know when their parents are upset. As long as you stay calm, they are more likely to be calm.
When to Take Your Child After the First Appointment
The general rule of thumb is that your child should see their dentist every six months. However, many reasons might cause you to see your dentist in Bloomington a little earlier. Some of the most common causes for concern are:
You’re concerned about their development
If your child doesn’t seem to be getting their teeth on time or you notice that they are coming in irregularly, you may want to take your child to visit the dentist. If there is cause for concern, your dentist can take steps to help your little one’s teeth come in normally.
You think they may have a cavity
Contrary to common thought, cavities in baby teeth can be a big deal. They can cause pain and could eventually cause your child’s tooth to loosen prematurely. Damaged and prematurely lost baby teeth do have the potential to negatively affect the way their adult teeth come in.
Your child has a dental injury
When your child chips, breaks, or loses a baby tooth due to an injury, it is really important to meet with your pediatric dentist. Your dentist will do everything necessary to prevent infection, reduce your child’s discomfort, and protect their future dental health. If your child is particularly active, this may result in the need for a customized mouth guard as they get older and join organized sports.