Sometimes it can be hard to tell how much dental care a child needs. Parents usually have lots of different questions, such as when their child should first visit the dentist, at what age their child should start flossing, and how often to schedule regular dental checkups.
Wondering How Often Your Child Should See a Dentist?
Caring for your child’s teeth should begin before they ever have their first dentist visit; in fact, it should start before your child even has any visible teeth. A baby is born with 20 primary teeth under their gums, these begin to emerge at around six months of age. Before these baby teeth erupt, it’s advisable to clean their gums with a damp washcloth to wipe away any harmful bacteria. Once their teeth begin to emerge, that’s when you should gently brush them with a soft baby toothbrush and plain water.
The ADA Says Your Child Should See a Dentist Before They Are 1
According to the American Dental Association, a child’s first visit to the dentist should happen by his or her first birthday. During their first visit to the dentist, the focus will be on introducing your child to the dentist, getting them comfortable in the dentist’s chair and teaching parents how to provide oral care for their baby. In most cases you won’t have to return for another year, when your child reaches two years old. Subsequently, your child should begin regular visits to the dentist every six months, just like adults do. Pediatric Dentists often take a child’s first dental x-rays between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.
Most Pediatric Dentists Recommend Dental Sealants To Prevent Cavities From Forming
Between ages 6 and 12, when baby teeth are still present, a child’s dental care begins to shift to prevention treatments. Between ages 7-9, your child’s Pediatric Dentist will most probably recommend applying a dental sealant, which is a plastic resin that bonds to chewing surfaces and protects teeth from cavities. Sealants are most commonly applied to molars, which contain grooves and valleys for bacteria to adhere to and cause cavities.
How Many Times a Year Should My Child See a Dentist?
When To Tell If Your Child Needs Braces
At around 7 years of age is the optimum time for a child to have an orthodontic evaluation. If braces are required, the Orthodontist will probably not recommend fitting your child for braces until their early teens; however, identifying any causes for crooked teeth when they are in pre-adolesence may help determine what they will need for a healthy mouth through adulthood.
What Kids Should Expect During Their Dental Visit
On your child’s first visit to our office, the dentist will ask for a full health history and perform a brief examination of the teeth and jaw structure. On subsequent up visits, if your child’s health status has changed, make sure to inform the Dentist during your visit. Here’s what your child can expect during most visits to the dentist.
They Will Have Their Teeth Cleaned
One of our dental hygienists or the dentist themselves will scrape elow the gum line to remove any built-up plaque and tartar, both can cause gum disease, bad breath, tooth decay and other problems. We will then polish and floss your child’s teeth.
We Will Perform A Complete Dental Examination
Your child’s Pediatric Dentist will perform a complete and thorough dental exam of their teeth, gums and mouth, looking for any signs of disease or other conditions.
Occassionally Perform X-Rays
X-rays can often diagnose problems which go otherwise unnoticed until pain makes them noticeable, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.
Help Your Child Establish Good Dental Habits
Start taking your child to the dentist at a young age and stick to a regular schedule of dental checkups. You can avoid most major dental problems, or catch them early on and avoid unnecessary pain and expense by establishing good routines. Gold Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics are pediatric dentists that specialize in children’s dental health. Our Pediatric Dentists are skilled at putting frightened children at ease and also knowledgeable about when to refer you to another specialist such as an orthodontist or oral surgeon. If you’ve been looking for a good family dentist in Burke, Quantico, Woodbridge or Dale City – give our practice a call today. We provide Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, general dentistry for adults and emergency dental care.
Consistency Is The Key To Good Oral Health
The number one way to ensure your child’s oral health is consistent is to: brush twice a day, floss at bedtime, and get regular dental exams. A Pediatric Dentist can instruct your child on proper brushing techniques and how to floss. The doctor will let your child know if they are leaving plaque behind while brushing and how to correct their brushing habits. This type of instruction is taken more seriously when it comes from the dentist than when it comes from a parent usually. Just adhere to a recommended dentist exam schedule and you’ll provide you child with excellent oral care and a healthy smile that should last them a lifetime.
Looking for a Pediatric Dentist in Burke, Quantico, Woodbridge or Dale City? Schedule an appointment today.