Children should begin seeing a dentist regularly as soon as their first baby tooth comes in. However, since children have a set of baby teeth that are later replaced by adult teeth, you may wonder if dental care is necessary at that age at all. Here are four compelling reasons that children of all ages need pediatric dental care:
1. It instills good habits.
The habits that are formed in childhood will likely be carried by your child well into adulthood. That's why it's so important to enforce and model good dental practices at an early age. Taking your child to the dentist throughout their life can help enforce the necessity of proper dental care, normalizing it to a child's curious mind.
2. It can help your child make healthy choices.
Tooth decay is caused by plaque building up on healthy teeth. Plaque is formed when the saliva in your mouth mixes with bacteria, according to Colgate. Sweets cause plaque to grow much more rapidly, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Your child's dentist can explain the importance of limiting sugary snacks like soda and candy, which children naturally love. As a parent, you can help your child make healthy choices by offering nutritious alternatives to junk food, like fruit and sliced, raw veggies.
3. It can prevent pain.
Your child can get cavities in their baby teeth. Often, the first sign of a cavity is pain when chewing. Even though your child will lose their baby teeth later in life, treating cavities can make them more comfortable. Tooth pain can lead to malnutrition and lashing out when left untreated.
4. It can teach your child how to brush and floss.
Brushing and flossing aren't intuitive practices. Kids especially may be prone to brushing too hard or brushing for insufficient amounts of time in their hurry to do something more fun. Likewise, good flossing means more than slipping floss between teeth and snapping it right back out. Your child's dentist can show them the right way to brush and floss, which is something you might not even know as a parent.
These are four reasons your child should see a dentist from an early age. If possible, look for a pediatric dental specialist to provide care to your little one. Pediatric dentists specialize in children. Their offices are often more kid-friendly, and they use tools that are suited to children's small mouths.Share