Pediatric Dental Care FAQs
According to reports, 60 percent of parents know the importance of pediatric dental care. But ironically, only about 25 percent of them actively seek pediatric dental services. This a challenge because not only do the teeth and jaw bone develops at this time, but also because children are prone to dental cavities. Paying attention to your child’s dental care is vital and below we answer some of the common questions on pediatric dental care.
1. When Should My Child Have Their First Dental Visit?
The American Pediatric Dental Association recommends taking your child for their first dental checkup when the first primary tooth erupts or before their first birthday.
A majority of parents tend to bring their child for a checkup after most of the primary teeth have emerged. However, the fact that the child doesn’t have teeth doesn’t mean they are free of cavities. Keep in mind, plaque can accumulate in the gum due to breastmilk (which is rich in sugar) intake. Ignoring the gums will increase the child’s risk of dental cavities way before the teeth emerge.
2. Can I Take My Child to a Family Dentist?
Yes, you can. But, remember while the family dentists can handle dental problems of all people, they are not trained in pediatric dental care. Pediatric dentists receive a two-year post-dental training on child’s dentistry. Furthermore, they know the behavioral and psychological needs of the child. They can handle children of different personalities as well as keep them calm.
Moreover, pediatric dental clinics have an environment that can relax and entertain children.
3. What Happens During the First Dental Visit?
Your child’s first dental visit will last for a few minutes but the child needs to get familiar with the dentist.
The dentist will examine the gums and clean them off any buildup. Furthermore, they will discuss and give you information on the developmental milestones and how to keep the gums clean.
It is important to prepare the child for the dental visit. Ensure that they are fed and rested to avoid fussiness.
4. When Do the Primary Teeth Erupt?
The primary teeth develop when the baby is still in the womb, but emerge during the sixth or seventh month. The baby teeth will begin falling off at six or seven years with the last set of permanent teeth (the back teeth) emerging when the child is 12 years.
5. How Can I Handle Teething?
Teething can be a time of great distress on children and it occurs between four and seven months. The process is painful but rarely causes sickness. You can try to soothe the discomfort by rubbing the gums using a wet washcloth, use a solid teething toy or pacifier.
6. Are Primary Teeth Important?
Yes. Primary teeth act as placeholders for the permanent ones. Any premature tooth loss can cause the jaw to weaken as well as the permanent teeth to emerge crowded or crooked. This will lead to the need for orthodontic treatment later in life.
It is, therefore, important to protect the primary teeth and dental crowns are the best options. These crowns will fall off the same time as the primary teeth. Fluoride treatment is also important as it helps to strengthen the teeth and prevent cavities.
7. When Should My Child Start to Use Toothpaste?
Although it’s important to brush or clean the child’s gum and teeth, fluoride toothpaste should not be used on children who are less than two years because chances are the child will swallow it.
8. How Often Should My Child See the Dentist?
It is recommended to take your child to a pediatric dentist every six months, although the dentist can ask for frequent visits if the child has a dental problem.
Bring Your Child for an Assessment!
If your child has had their first tooth or they have reached their first birthday, bring the baby for an assessment. At Bluebonnet dental clinic, we offer pediatric dental care to help prevent dental cavities and other problems such as gum disease.