Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Baby (primary) teeth are just as important as adult (permanent) teeth.  Baby teeth are instrumental to your child’s ability to chew and speak, and also maintain space for the permanent teeth growing under the gum tissue.  Your child’s first baby teeth will erupt between six and twelve months of age, and most children have their full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of three.

The best way to protect your child’s teeth is to start dental check-ups at a young age.  The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry agree that your child’s first dental visit should occur within six months of their first tooth appearing, but no later than their first birthday.

These appointments allow Dr. Schultz and her team to answer any questions you may have about your child’s teeth, clean their teeth, examine for any decay (cavities) or other problems, and discuss diet and home care needs—any or all of which may be indicated.

At Schultz Family Dental, we make it a priority to educate parents and children on the importance of dental care—to form a lifelong foundation for healthy oral habits. We provide a full range of children’s dentistry—including teeth cleaning, sealants, fluoride treatments, nutrition recommendations, and cavity diagnosis and treatment, based on your child’s individual needs.

Allowing your child to experience the dentist at a young age is important in shaping their view of the importance of tooth care, and also in improving their comfort level (we’re not so scary!).  Habits are formed at a young age, and proper dental care ensures healthy teeth and a positive outlook on oral hygiene from the start!

Your Child’s Risk for Tooth Decay

When we eat or drink, bacteria in the mouth changes the sugar from these foods and beverages into acid. This acid can harm the teeth, and after time, can develop into tooth decay (cavities). Oftentimes, children’s teeth are exposed to sugar for longer periods of time (i.e. bottles, sugary drinks or foods), placing them at a higher risk for decay.

Many parents wonder why they should worry about tooth decay in baby teeth, since these teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth; however, it is important to understand that decay at a young age may make your child more susceptible to decay at a later age—affecting their permanent teeth, and sometimes even their health.

Tips to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Clean

It is important that children brush their teeth twice a day, as well as floss to keep both their teeth and gums healthy. For younger children, it is important that parents help with brushing and flossing until they are old enough to do it by themselves.  For children under three years of age, a small amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used on a child-size toothbrush. For children three to six years old, a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used. Parents should advise their children not to swallow the toothpaste, and help them remember to brush.  Healthy habits start early, and preventive care can save time, money, and teeth!  Contact us today for more information or visit our blog page!

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