At Sterling Dental Center, we take pride in taking care of not only our adult patients, but also our child and adolescent patients. Do you know what age children should start to see a dentist? It may be younger than you think! Preventative care is essential for kids and helps them establish healthy habits from an early age.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends starting dental appointments when a child’s first tooth appears or when they turn one, whichever one happens first. From then on, you should schedule a check-up every six months. This may change slightly based on the child, but the standard is twice a year.
While it may seem early to start visits by your child’s first birthday, tooth issues can start even at that young age. Early Childhood Caries (or baby bottle tooth decay), the presence of a decayed tooth, is a common concern for babies and quite infectious. Once a child is old enough to start eating regular foods, they are at higher risk for tooth decay.
In addition to dental visits, children should have daily dental routines. Even from birth you can clean their gums with a wet cloth or with an infant tooth brush. Once their teeth have erupted, you can start brushing with an actual toothpaste and soft toothbrush. Distribute toothpaste according to their age. Children under two should be using a ‘smear’ while children two to five should use a pea-sized drop.
Keep in mind that even if they can hold a toothbrush, young kids should not be solely responsible for brushing their teeth. Remember to brush their teeth (or help them brush their teeth) twice a day, once after breakfast and once before bed.
The most important part of pediatric dental care is preventative dentistry. For children, preventative dentistry includes:
- Dental development
- Oral habits
- Parent involvement
- Proper diet
- Sports safety
At Sterling Dental Center, we can work on various pediatric preventative dental measures like applying topical fluoride during your child’s regular visit, applying sealants to prevent tooth decay, and even help guide you on proper oral habits.
Preventative care is most successful when it is paired with regular dental visits. The AAPD advises two appointments a year for children, unless otherwise noted by your dentist. Oral health is incredibly important so starting good habits early will set your children up for success later. Call Sterling Dental Center today!