Since baby teeth fall out and get replaced as kids grow up, a common question new parents have is, “Do children with baby teeth need to go to a dentist?” In short, the answer is yes.
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases that children in the US face; the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that 40 percent of kids have tooth decay by kindergarten. This corrosion can not only make it harder for your child to chew, but it can cause them extreme discomfort and pain. The goal of preventative dentistry for children is to avoid this, and kids should have regular visits as they grow.
You should schedule their first visit around when their first tooth comes in or at least by their first birthday. It’s essential to find a trusted pediatric dentist early, as the first tooth can show up as early as six months.
The first visit to a dentist is scary for a child, so it’s helpful to tell them what to expect beforehand. Even if you have anxiety about going to the dentist, it’s best to put on a brave face and show that the dentist isn’t something to fear. The first visit typically isn’t very intensive. The dentist will give you tips on caring for their growing teeth, and if warranted, they might do a minor cleaning.
Important Ages to Visit
Kids should make bi-annual visits to the dentist. That way, dentists can monitor gum and tooth health and prevent or treat any tooth decay. It’s also valuable to note the three ages when it is most crucial for kids to visit a dentist: the first, fourth, and seventh birthday.
The fourth birthday is an important milestone. Around four, kids have started to build good and bad oral habits. A dentist can take this time to correct any bad habits like thumb-sucking or teeth-grinding. Also, they can check to see if your kids are getting enough fluoride to protect their teeth from decay.
Children’s adult teeth will start growing in at seven. That’s why it’s a great time to introduce them to an orthodontist. An orthodontist can examine their teeth for any future problems with their growing teeth. They don’t need braces yet but identifying and correcting any issues early on can significantly benefit their oral health in the long run.
Besides their suggested check-ups, if a child ever has tooth pain, irritated gums, or you notice any unusual white or brown spots, you should take them to a dentist. Even though children have baby teeth, they need to go to the dentist.Maintaining a clean mouth will go a long way toward them having a happy and healthy childhood.