Caring for your teeth and gums is such an important part of your overall health, but did you know that the most common chronic disease for young children is tooth decay? Learning healthy habits for your oral care must start at a very young age, and there are specific things to consider when your are caring for a young child’s teeth and gums. There are very basic skills that can be harder for the average child to develop if they do not have proper oral care. This is why taking your child to the dentist regularly is crucial in their developmental success.
Not So Common Knowledge
Your dentist will be able to give you advice on how to care for your child’s new teeth. There are some basic habits that you have developed in your household that might unknowingly be causing damage to your child’s teeth and gums. A dentist will be able to explain various common bad habits and help you develop new ones that will help foster good oral care.
How Soon Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
It is really easy to brush off taking a child to the dentist until they have a full set of teeth, but it is likely that you would have missed the opportunity to catch the problems with their teeth and/or gums early. In fact, the Center For Disease control estimates that a shocking 40 percent of children already have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten! That number isn’t that high because parents are cavalier about their children’s oral health, but most of these cases are caused by parents assuming that you don’t need serious oral care until you have all of your teeth. Preventing tooth decay and gum disease is the best way to fight them, so give your kids a hand up in the process of taking care of their teeth by starting their regular dentist appointments after they break in their first tooth. Your dentist will be able to give you a world of help in the process of the stressful teething season.
You might be thinking, what’s the worst that could possibly happen if I don’t take my kids to the dentist when their teeth first come in? Tooth decay can be very uncomfortable for a child (or anyone) and children deal with chronic pain the only way they know how to. A child doesn’t know what the problem is, they just know that it hurts, and unfortunately, they might not even know how to communicate their discomfort. This can result in massive mood swings from lack of sleep and chronic grumpiness. It can be hard enough to get kids to eat a proper meal, and having tooth decay and gum issues does not help in developing healthy eating habits. It is also possible that your child’s speech development is actually directly dependent on their oral care. It’s hard enough to instill a sense of confidence in young children, there’s no reason to add to the load by dealing with avoidable and treatable issues. Don’t hesitate! When your child’s teeth first start to come in, go ahead and schedule their first well visit with your dentist. Their beautiful, beaming smile for years to come will make it worth it!