When Should Your Child First Visit a Pediatric Dentist?
Though most adults are well aware of the importance of regular visits to the dentist, they often do not realize how early their children should begin seeing a pediatric dentist. In fact, the recommended age for first dentist visits may be quite a bit earlier than you think.
Children should begin seeing a pediatric dentist by age 1, or within 6 months of their first tooth’s appearance. Since most children get their first tooth around 6 months old, these points tend to coincide.
Though primary teeth (or baby teeth as they are sometimes called) will be lost naturally later in childhood, it is important to keep them healthy in order for them to serve their intended functions.
Healthy primary teeth allow children to achieve proper nutrition, as they enable proper chewing. If a child’s teeth are causing them pain, they’re less likely to eat a well-balanced diet as chewing may be uncomfortable. Early habits are difficult to break, so it’s important that your child doesn’t develop unnecessary aversions to certain foods due to discomfort.
Additionally, primary teeth allow children to develop proper speech. If these teeth are damaged or not properly cared for, it can result in speech impediments since children will not learn how to properly form words. These issues can be mitigated later in life, but it’s much easier to take preventative steps and keep your child’s teeth healthy from the start.
Perhaps most importantly, beginning your child on regular visits to a pediatric dentist at a young age creates a healthy relationship with oral care for them. Later in life, this translates to less reluctance over visiting the dentist, and therefore your child will be more likely to catch dental issues early once they reach adulthood.
By instilling your child with the sense that oral health is an important part of overall physical well being, you set them up for a greater level of future comfort, and shield them from one of the most common health-related anxieties: visiting the dentist.
If your child is nearing that 1 year mark or they have sprung their first tooth and it’s time for them to begin seeing a pediatric dentist, contact us today to keep your child as healthy as possible now, and set them on a path of lifelong oral health.
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