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What Every Parent Should Know about Pediatric Dental Care

 Like adults, children need to practice good oral hygiene and get comprehensive dental care on a regular basis in order to prevent common problems like tooth decay, as well as to prevent oral health problems in the future. At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, our dentists and pediatric dental team offer a range of dental services for children at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.

When should your child first see the dentist?

Every child is different, but in general, primary (baby) teeth begin to erupt at around six months. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should get their first dental checkup by their first birthday, or approximately six months after the first tooth erupts. Children develop at different rates, and establishing a relationship with a pediatric dentist early on has a number of benefits. 

In addition to monitoring your child’s progress and development, getting your child used to the dentist can help to build trust and manage any issues with dental anxiety that keep many people from getting the care they need. 

What to expect at your child’s dentist appointment

In addition to checking your child’s gums and teeth for signs of decay or inflammation, the dentist will also monitor bite and alignment, signs of developing orthodontic issues, and any problems with the gums or soft tissue.

Depending on your child’s age, diet, and feeding habits, the dentist will also discuss any issues related to thumb sucking, bottle feeding, and diet — all of which can also affect your child’s oral health and dental development.

Pediatric dentistry services

Some of the additional pediatric dentistry services we offer at our Falls Church office include:

Preventive treatments like dental sealants make it easier to brush and help to protect your kids’ teeth from decay and cavities.

Oral hygiene tips and tricks for children

Getting your child comfortable with and excited about oral hygiene is the first step in establishing good oral hygiene habits. Setting up a regular daily schedule to brush and floss and keeping it lighthearted and fun can keep children motivated and interested in their oral health. Brushing together in the morning and before bed can help to instill consistency and make it feel like less of a chore and more like a family activity. 

Keep in mind that most children will struggle with their technique and their grip on a toothbrush until they get older, so parents will need to help them brush their teeth adequately for the first few years. Replace the toothbrush every couple of months or when the bristles begin to bend. 

Don’t neglect baby teeth

Despite the fact that they’re temporary, caring for your child’s primary teeth is just as important as caring for their adult teeth. And having to get fillings at a young age can also provoke dental anxiety.

It’s never too early to set your children up with good oral hygiene habits to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth. For more information about the pediatric dentistry services we offer, call us at 703-498-2440 to schedule an appointment or use our online booking tool.

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