Our office regularly cares for the dental needs of children as young as one year old. However, if you notice that your child has a problem with his or her teeth or gums prior to this age, please schedule an appointment. You may also want to bring your child to your dental checkup when he or she is about one so that your child can become familiar with the sights, sounds, and friendly helpers in our South Charleston dental office. We call this a Happy Visit. Your child’s independent checkup around age one will involve a tooth-by-tooth inspection and periodontal exam. The dentist will check for proper development, as well as tooth decay and other areas of concern. To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities. They also need to learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to prevent problems.
But cavities aren't all that parents need to learn about their child's dental health. The age 1 dental visit lets parents discuss:
As your child grows, he or she will need regular checkups and hygiene visits to ensure optimal oral health. Our team will also teach oral homecare techniques so that your child can learn how to effectively brush and floss, with your help at first, then on his or her own. The dentist may recommend dental sealants or fluoride supplements. Sealants are thin, clear coatings that protect hard-to-clean back teeth from the sugars that cause tooth decay. Fluoride attracts other minerals to strengthen tooth enamel and ward off cavities. Because most bottled water does not contain fluoride, your child may be deficient in this essential mineral. Sealants and fluoride supplements are quick and easy protective measures that can save your little one from cavities.
Your child may fuss during parts or all of the dental visit. If possible, ask another adult to come with you. It’s best if this is someone who helps to care for your child. You want to be free to talk comfortably with the dentist or hygienist and to focus attention on your child. For this reason, it is best not to bring other children along at this first visit. Also bring a favorite toy, blanket or other familiar object. This will help your child to know that the dental office is a comfortable and safe place.
Let us help your children learn the importance of optimal oral health from a young age. Call to schedule a Happy Visit or checkup today! In some cases, we refer children to pedodontist, who are specialists in children’s dentistry. We will help you make the best choices for your child’s unique and precious personality.