Keeping track of your child’s biannual dental cleanings.

Visiting the dentist office twice a year for a professional cleaning is recommended for patients of all ages, including children. In fact, these checkups might be even more important for children, as they are most prone to developing cavities and tooth decay from eating sweet foods and drinks and inadequately managing their oral hygiene. This is no fault of the parent; it’s tough to convince a young child to keep their teeth clean. 

Kids will be kids, and during this time of their life, they learn more by watching than listening. Preventive dentistry will help keep your child’s oral health in check and  show them just how important it is to practice good dental hygiene.

When should my baby have their first dental visit?

Parents should aim to bring their children in for the first time around the age of twelve months or when their first teeth come in, whichever happens first. Bringing your children in sooner rather than later will help them get a feel for the atmosphere so they can relax during dental visits throughout their toddler years. After the first visit, it’s recommended that parents schedule visits every six months.

What is preventive dentistry?

The main idea behind preventive dentistry is to help patients maintain good dental hygiene throughout their lifetime. With regular checkups, your children will receive proper dental care from a young age and learn all they need to know about how to properly clean their teeth and use dental cleaning products, such as floss.

Preventive dentistry also keeps your children from experiencing major oral health issues, such as gum disease, cavities, and many more.

The Importance of Visiting the Dentist

Regular dental visits provide patients with the ability to stay in the know about what’s going on in and around their mouth. Dental hygienists are equipped with various noninvasive tools to clean your children’s teeth in ways you and your child can not at home. 

These checkups also give the dentist a chance to get X-rays of your children’s teeth. With these X-rays and images, your dentist can make sure the condition of their teeth, jaw, roots, and more is being maintained.

Gum Disease in Baby Teeth

Kids often beg their parents to eat certain foods that can negatively affect their oral health, including:

  • Soda
  • Candy 
  • Many types of sugar 
  • Sticky food 
  • Crackers 
  • Ice cream

While this is a short list, there are many more foods that can lead to poor oral health in children. These foods and beverages build up plaque on the teeth and could possibly lead to gum diseases, such as gingivitis, if it’s not treated properly or in a timely manner.

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that exhibits red or swollen gums. Gingivitis needs to be taken care of immediately before it turns into periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease that can only be reversed by a dentist. Even though young children with baby teeth are not necessarily at risk for periodontitis, it is important to teach them the benefits of maintaining proper oral hygiene so they can avoid these diseases in the future.

Children who complain about pain in their mouth, teeth, or gums may be experiencing signs of gum diseases, so if this is the case for your child, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

At-Home Dentist Adventures With Your Child

One recommendation we highly suggest is to role-play with your children at home to prepare them for their first and future dentist visits. This technique is very helpful for children who might be anxious in medical environments. Getting your children familiar and comfortable with the tools used that might be frightening to them will help improve their overall dentist visit.

For example, using a play doll to show them how their visit will go can be a fun adventure for the two of you. You can also use YouTube to search for cartoons that teach kids about visiting the dentist office. The dentist episode of the show Peppa Pig is a great example of a video you could show your children to prepare them for the dentist office.

Start your first dental adventure with Jaynes Pediatric.

Here at Jaynes Pediatric we specialize specifically in children’s dentistry and welcome all new patients with open arms. In our fun, kid-friendly environment, your child can get the proper dental care they need on a biannual basis. We will also be delighted to teach your child all they need to know about preventive dentistry and what habits they should implement to have a healthy smile for life.

Come start your journey today with Dr. Jeff and his team members in Plano, Texas. If you are interested or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.