Did you know that over 50% of children develop a cavity? These can be incredibly painful, lead to infections, and even negatively affect oral development. Teaching your children about proper dental care is one of the most important things you can do for their health. Regular visits to the local kids’ dentist will help prevent cavities and other issues that threaten their developing teeth and model what proper oral care looks like.
However, many parents aren’t sure how often they should take their children to the dentist. Read on to learn how often you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Bob and Dr. Monika.
The First Dental Visit
Children are born with a set of 20 teeth, 10 on the top of the jaw and 10 on the bottom. For the first few months of their lives, these teeth will be hidden under their gums. During this time, you should clean their gums with an infant toothbrush or a damp washcloth to prevent bacteria from developing.
Once you notice their first tooth erupt, or break through the gum line, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist. This usually occurs between the 6-12 months mark. If your child’s teeth don’t erupt by their first birthday, you should still prepare them for a check-up.
Between the ages of 1 and 2, your child’s baby teeth are still erupting. You should consult with your dentist and see how often they recommend a visit.
How Often to Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Once your child is 2 years old, most of their baby teeth have broken through the gum line. At this time, they’re ready to start regularly-scheduled dental treatment.
You should take your child to the dentist every six months from this point on. However, if your child has pressing oral health issues, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.
Maintain this schedule no matter how healthy your child’s teeth appear to be. Some oral issues like swelling and hidden cavities in the back teeth are difficult to see.
The dentist will monitor your child’s oral development, perform teeth cleanings, and recommend treatment options should issues arise.
Regular check-ups also demonstrate what goes into proper oral care, and getting your child used to the idea of going to the dentist will only improve the quality of their life.
Work to cultivate a trusting relationship between your child and their dentist. They need to understand that professionals like Dr. Bob and Dr. Monika are friends that have the best interest of their health at heart.
Pediatric dentists undergo even more extensive training than other dentists. The best dentists for kids understand how to talk to children, can teach them valuable oral hygiene skills, and work hard to ensure that dental visits are a non-threatening experience.
How Often Do Children Need Dental X-rays?
As an adult, dental x-rays are a typical part of a dental check-up, and your child needs them as well.
While the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry doesn’t offer specific timelines, expect the process to start before your child develops their adult teeth. X-rays can provide insight into the current state of your kid’s oral health.
Your dentist will consider factors like cavities, your family’s oral health history, and the presence of other dental issues to make a determination on when to start incorporating X-rays into a child’s dental visits.
Getting Your Child Ready for the Dentist
Typically, kids don’t look forward to visiting the dentist. They might be afraid of experiencing pain or intimidated by the instruments dentists use. Preparing your child for their dental appointment can help the process go smoothly.
Always stay positive when it comes to talking about dental visits in front of your child. You don’t want to cause them any more anxiety than they already may be feeling.
Assure Them It’s Normal and Safe
If your child shows apprehension about visiting the dentist, reassure them that dental visits are a normal and safe part of life. These affirmations can go a long way toward alleviating their worries.
Make It a Game
A great way to get a child used to the idea of going to the dentist is to play a make-believe game with them at home. Have them sit in a chair and pretend that you’re the dentist. This can also be an opportunity to teach valuable oral hygiene skills.
Books and Shows About Dentists
Dental visits are a common topic in many children’s books and shows. You’re sure to find a few that your child will enjoy. They often discuss many of the things that make kids nervous about going to the dentist, so they can be a great help.
What to Expect at Your Child’s Dental Visit
Pediatric dental visits are similar to adult appointments, except the dentist’s questions regarding family history and health habits will likely be directed at you. This is what to anticipate from a typical visit.
All children’s dental visits will feature a teeth cleaning. This helps remove tartar and plaque build-up, which can cause cavities and gingivitis. They’ll also floss your child’s teeth.
Once your child’s teeth are clean, the dentist will perform a routine examination. They’ll use mirrors, probes, and occasionally X-rays to determine the health of your child’s teeth and gums.
Dental Hygiene Tips
The dentist will also go over the basic oral health necessities, and make sure that both you and your child understand them. A pediatric dentist will be able to break down critical topics like the appropriate way to brush teeth and the importance of flossing in ways that your child will understand.
Brushin’ on Belmont: Your Local Kids Dentist
Regular dental visits are imperative for your child’s oral health. Once your child is 2 years old, they need to see the local kids’ dentist once every six months.
Work with your child to alleviate any anxiety and teach them how proper oral hygiene is an important part of life.
Is it time for a check-up? Come on down to Brushin’ on Belmont for a visit with Dr. Bob, Dr. Monika, and the rest of the team. Schedule an appointment with the best Chicago kids dentists today.