The American Dental Association advises parents to take their children to see a family dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than the first birthday. To understand why toddlers need regular cleanings and exams, here’s what you should know about early childhood dental care.
Why Pediatric Dentistry Is Important
1. Early Childhood Caries Are a Major Health Concern
Teeth are vulnerable to caries as soon as they erupt. While it’s reasonable to assume cavities in baby teeth aren't all that problematic, they can have a large impact on oral health. If left untreated, the decay can spread to the underlying adult teeth. It can also prompt the baby teeth to fall out prematurely, which may cause shifting and, subsequently, misalignment issues down the road.
2. Preventive Care Can Mitigate Developmental Issues
If your child’s teeth aren't coming in properly, it could affect his or her jaw development, bite, and/or speech. With early intervention, though, your family dentist will implement practical solutions for preventing permanent damage. The pediatric dentist will also be happy to answer all your questions about the impact habits, like thumb sucking, are having on your child’s development.
3. Dental Phobia Is Very Real
Researchers estimate that up to 15% of Americans avoid visiting the dentist out of fear and anxiety. Like most fears, dental phobia is rooted in the unknown. As such, you can combat it by taking your kids to the dentist from an early age. Over time, they'll develop a positive association with cleanings and exams, and they’ll come to know what to expect at every visit.
If you’re looking for a friendly family dentist who will make your kids feel at ease, turn to Chris L Hudson DDS in Soldotna, AK. Dr. Hudson and his compassionate team have fostered a warm office environment, where even those patients who enter with apprehension will leave with a smile. A full-service practice, they’re proud to address the oral health needs of toddlers, seniors, and everyone in between. To learn more about the preventive care they provide, visit their website. To make a family dentist appointment for you or your child, call (907) 262-5454.