Your child may need to start getting professional dental care earlier than you suspect. Pediatric dental care can set up your child for a lifetime of good oral and general health.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics in Falls Church, Virginia, Nathalie Phaeton, DDS, Ki Youn Kil, DDS, and our team offer a full range of pediatric dentistry services. In this blog, we explain when you should schedule your child’s first appointment, why it’s important, and how you can help take care of your child’s teeth at home.
Scheduling your child’s first professional cleaning
A child’s first tooth generally erupts around six months of age. Our dentists recommend that you schedule your child’s first visit six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
Primary (baby) teeth require the same level of care as permanent teeth. At the first appointment, our dentists perform a comprehensive exam of your child’s teeth and gums, perform a gentle cleaning, and take X-rays as needed.
Every child is different, and your children’s teeth may erupt a little earlier or later than the average. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s oral health, contact us and we’ll give you the help you need.
Why pediatric dentistry is important
Dental care is an important part of your child’s health and development. Regular appointments can help prevent the development of cavities and allow us to monitor potential problems, such as orthodontic issues. Regular visits also allow us to:
- Provide a customized education
- Provide specialized care
- Monitor dental development
- Help your child manage dental anxiety and phobias
- Provide nutritional support and guidance
- Give your child a comfortable “dental home”
When it comes to specialized care, we can provide dental sealants, for example. Sealants are brushed onto the molars and then hardened with a special light. This treatment provides a flat surface for easy brushing and also helps keep out bacteria and acid to reduce the risk for cavities.
Caring for your child’s teeth at home
The need for good oral hygiene actually begins before your child’s first tooth erupts. To keep their gums healthy, gently wipe them with a clean washcloth twice a day. Then, once their teeth start to erupt, gently brush their teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush.
When your child is old enough to brush their teeth, it will take some time for them to brush them correctly. Continue to monitor and support them until they get the hang of it, and encourage them to brush at least twice a day.
Diet and nutrition also play an important role in a child’s oral health. Limit their consumption of sugary snacks and drinks, because these foods can make their teeth susceptible to tooth decay. Also, encourage them to drink water throughout the day, as doing this can help them stay hydrated and also help protect their teeth and gums from bacteria.
For more information about dental cleanings or the other pediatric dentistry services we offer at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, call 703-483-9933 or book an appointment online today.