Dental Care for the Little Ones — When to Take Your Toddler to a Dentist

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Dental Care for the Little Ones

When to Take Your Toddler to a Dentist

Taking your toddler to a dentist regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy oral health care routine and instilling in them good dental care habits that will ensure their teeth remain healthy when they grow up. But when and how often should you really do it? And how do you make the experience comfortable for them? We have all the answers as well as a handful of tips that will help you make your child’s first dental appointment a pleasant, smooth ride!

The First Visit

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends you take your child to the dentist by their first birthday or within half a year after their teeth first start erupting. That might seem too early, but it’s crucial that your family dentist starts monitoring your child’s teeth and gums, as they can be rather sensitive in the period when teeth first start to appear.

Further, staying up-to-date with your child’s oral health developments will allow the dentist to foresee any potential issues and tackle them before they grow into something more serious. In addition, it gives them a chance to give you some tips on how to optimize your child’s oral hygiene routine.

Finally, perhaps one of the most essential benefits of early dental check-ups is the fact that they give your child a chance to get used to dentists and dental practices. It is no secret that many children feel anxious about getting their teeth checked, so regular trips to the dentist from an early age can help them learn how to be at ease in dental care environments, especially if you choose a friendly practice that specializes in pediatric dentistry.

How Do You Know It’s Time to Take Your Child to the Dentist?

The AAPD recommendation stands, but sometimes, you might want to take your child to the dentist sooner, especially if you suspect any of the following symptoms:

  • Sensitivity: If your child keeps indicating that they are suffering from a toothache, be sure you plan a trip to the dentist as soon as possible, as this might indicate tooth decay and similar problems;
  • Gum redness and other problems: Swollen, red, or worse, bleeding gums might be a sign of more severe underlying conditions, such as infections;
  • Abnormalities: Redness and pain are sometimes nothing serious, but abnormal growths and various forms of jaw misalignments usually are, so don’t hesitate to contact your dentist if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

Also, if you notice your child has some pesky habits they can’t seem to shake, such as thumb sucking or excessive pacifier use, you might want to seek professional insight. These habits can negatively impact your child’s dental development, so some guidance is never amiss.

Naturally, if the child has suffered head or jaw trauma, visiting an emergency dentist is a must.

How to Prepare for the Visit?

Once you’ve scheduled your child’s appointment, it’s your role as a parent to make sure they are as comfortable with it as possible. Here are a few things you can do to make the appointment go as smoothly as possible:

  • Talk to them: You have to be a good role model when it comes to health. Show your child that you, too, visit the dentist and that doing so is important for our general well-being. Naturally, you should make sure you use age-appropriate language when discussing things;
  • Make sure the timing is good: Don’t schedule the appointment too early or too late. Try picking a time when you know your child won’t be tired, hungry, or cranky;
  • Allow them to bring along their favorite toys: It’s no secret children love their comfort items, such as toys, so let them bring them along if they want to. It will reduce their anxiety and make them feel at home;

If you do everything to make sure the appointment goes well, you’ll probably ensure all subsequent check-ups are fruitful, too. First impressions are everything, and if your child learns how to be comfortable in a dental environment early on, they will have no issue visiting the dentist in the future.

What Are Some Potential Problems That Early Visits to the Dentist Can Prevent?

Regular dental check-ups can prevent a whole plethora of problems both, including:

  • Caries: The most pervasive dental problem among children is caries. A lot of food our toddlers consume is, unfortunately, rather sugary, so some tooth decay is quite common. With some quality input from your dentist, however, you can mitigate the risks of caries greatly;
  • Gum disease: By focusing too much on our teeth, we often forget that gums are just as important. Through regular check-ups, the dentist will monitor and teach your child how to take care of their gums by demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques;
  • Speech difficulties: Misaligned or missing teeth can lead to speech problems and, thus, low self-esteem. By noticing any abnormalities early on, you can take preventive measures and ensure your child can produce all sounds without any problems.

Choosing the Best Dentist

If you’re looking for the perfect dental clinic for you and your child in Wheeling, IL, we recommend Aura Family Dental, a terrific clinic where dental care is all about you. The Aural Family team is committed to providing you with high-quality services and building long-lasting trust to ensure that each patient gets the kind of treatment they deserve.

Aural Family Dental offers a wide range of dental services, from general dentistry to transformative cosmetic care, and the team behind it is always ready to assist you and answer any questions you might have regarding dental procedures, health care, etc.

Choose Aura Family Dental — choose a beautiful, healthy smile.