Caring for Children’s Teeth – Part 4: when should your child visit the dentist?
Looking back on our own childhoods, visits to the dentist were never personal highlights. Usually they meant that we’d done something wrong, cost our parents a lot of money or came home in pain with a mouthful of cotton buds.
At Whitehorse Dental, we want to change this dental anxiety that many people feel from terrible past experiences with their dentist. Through our dental practice and this oral health blog, we’re advocating for preventative dentistry. So how do we put this into practice for your child’s dental health?
- Introduce your child to the dentist at Age 2
We would love to begin by encouraging parents to introduce their children to the dentist early at the age of 2 for a light teeth clean. Teeth cleans early on in their childhood will help kids feel familiar with the environment of the dental clinic and establish a connection with their local dentist.
- From the age of 3, visit the dentist for a teeth polish
We understand that it’s hard to keep active kids still for long enough to brush their teeth! In our experience with children’s dental health, we recommend a teeth polish every 6 months from the age of 2-3 years old. By that age, most children will have grown a full set of baby teeth.
Baby molars do not change to adult teeth until age 10-12, therefore losing baby teeth too early from decay, cavities or infection can have a big impact on underlying adult teeth. It can also affect the child’s ability to eat and subsequently their growth and development.
A regular teeth polish will ensure that your child’s teeth are plaque free. So even in between visits when kids brushing might not be perfect, you’ll have the peace of mind that there are no germs hidden in hard to reach spots that can cause tooth decay.
- Build preventative habits rather than paying for costly dental procedures
Teeth cleans and polishes are a much nicer and gentler way to meet the dentist than filling holes in decayed teeth. Often, dentists are only thought about when there is a problem.
In our experience, simple dental procedures for adults such as fillings are much more difficult for young children. It is hard for children to stay still and all the new smells and sensations can be quite frightening.
In children under 6 who need fillings, a general anaesthetic is usually required. This becomes costly as well as emotionally draining for both children and their parents.
We aspire to change things from the old ‘drill and fill’ approach to regular preventative dental care which stops problems before they occur.
By introducing your children to preventative habits early, the dental experience becomes fun and friendly! We want our little patients to have big smiles on their faces when they come in.
To find out more about how to care for your child’s teeth, feel free to contact our helpful dentists at Whitehorse Dental in Blackburn.