Why Shouldn’t Parents Delay Their Baby’s First Dental Visit? Spring Texas
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the first dental visit should be at the time when the first baby tooth erupts. Failure to that, it should not be later than the first birthday. This first dental visit could be a bit worrying for parents. This is because they may not know what the dentist will find. Besides that, they do not know how the child will behave. We at Vita Dental Houston would like to demystify the first dental visit as well as tell you its benefits.
What to expect at the first visit
Unlike in older children, the dentist will be in a knee-to-knee position with the parent. The dentists at Vita Dental Houston will interact with the small baby gently so as not to cause any distress.
The first dental visit will usually last for just 30 minutes. Most of that time will be spent educating the parent on how to care for the dental development of the child. The dentists will also talk about feeding patterns and make the parent aware of oral hygiene for babies. This can help to avoid early baby tooth decay called nursing caries.
What is nursing caries?
Nursing caries of early childhood caries (ECC) is defined as the presence of decayed lesions or filling tooth surface in any milk teeth in a child under six. In children three years or less, any sign of smooth surface caries is an indication of early childhood caries.
If this caries is not treated, it can decay the tiny milk teeth and cause deep cavities, pain, infections, and loss of functionality. Milk cannot stick between teeth. However, if it pools in the child’s mouth all night, the bacteria can start feeding on milk and produce acids that will break down the tooth structure and lead to tooth cavities. If there is no awareness of early childhood tooth decay, it can increase milk bottle caries. This is why early checkups matter.
What happens when baby teeth decay?
If not treated, it can lead to deep cavities, infections, and loss of function. It might also lead to a lot of pain and distress for the child. The worst is when dental decay progresses and causes a situation where treatment under general anesthesia is needed. This is obviously distressful for the child.
How to avoid tooth decay for kids
- Feed the child water after every feed to avoid milk pooling
- Wipe the kid’s teeth with a wet cloth after every feed
- Use fluoride tooth twice a day to clean the kid’s mouth
- Avoid feeding the child at night
- Avoid giving the child juices with a lot of sugars
- Ensure you go for dental checkups once every six months
At Vita Dental Houston, we often see extreme cases of dental problems in young kids. However, most of them can be avoided by hastening your first dental visit for a child.
The Benefits of the Child’s First Dental visit
- Familiarizing them with professional dental care
A child needs time to be comfortable with their surroundings. If you start the dental visits early, it can improve the chances that a child will come to accept the dental office as part of their life. This can be quite helpful if you visit an office like ours, where we have a lot of experience handling kid’s cases.
- Early monitoring of dental issues
A child’s teeth are very susceptible to tooth decay. Regular dental visits should start early to ensure that any dental problem is detected early. Besides treating the dental decay, the child might need preventative care like sealants or fluoride applications to protect teeth.
Besides that, if the visits start early, any issues with bite can be caught early. With early intervention, it will ensure that the orthodontic costs will not be so high. It might also reduce the amount of time for which the child will need to wear braces later in life.
- Useful information for dental care
A recent study found that if a parent does not visit the dentist early, they are not likely to follow the recommended national dental care guidance. When you come to our dental clinic, we will offer the information and training on how to care for gums and teeth.
Besides that, we will ease any concerns that you might have. On top of that, we will inform you of any detrimental practices that may be affecting the health of your child. For instance, we will tell you whether thumb sucking is something of concern.
As with any area of childhood development, beginning on the right foot with dental care is important. It can save you a lifetime of grief in term of the child’s oral health. If you start your child’s dental clinics early, it may help to ensure that there is a lifetime of healthy gums. It could even save you money in your child’s dental care.