Driving around town, you have seen all the new pediatric dentist practices that continue to pop up. Despite what you may think, a pediatric dentist does not have to have a stylized building or a specific atmosphere to care for your child’s teeth. While a family dentist cares for children’s teeth from birth through adulthood, a pediatric dentist does typically have two (or more) specialized years of training in how to care specifically for infants, toddlers, children, teens, and kids with special needs. Since our practice is equipped to provide dental care for your entire family, we also have a great pediatric dentistry approach.
We recommend that you start bringing your child to the dentist early. The average age for a first dentist appointment is 3 or 4, but we recommend that you start bringing your children in as soon as they have teeth. They may not fully understand all that takes place on that first visit, but starting them early helps to get them acquainted with the cleaning process. Making it part of your routine will help your child not be afraid as they grow older. And we have some fun goodies that they can look forward to after each visit, which always helps.
THINK LONG-TERM & BIG PICTURE
When deciding where to go for your child’s dental care, be sure to think long-term. It’s always a good idea for the entire family to stick together. This allows a dentist to become familiar with your family as a whole, so that if problems occur, your dentist will be able to determine whether or not the problem is affecting your whole family. This enables your dental care provider to tailor a treatment approach for everyone in your household.
And the dental care advice that your dentist gives for your child will probably be good advice for you (the parents) too. A family pediatric dentist will be concerned for the dental health of your entire family. Curbing sugar, setting limits, providing healthy snacks, and avoiding juice and soda are things that your child needs you to do for them—and for your entire family too.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
Before your child’s pediatric dentist appointment, it’s a good idea to jot down some questions that will help you get a good feel for the overall health of your child’s mouth. Here are some ideas for what you might want to ask:
- Will my child be having a cleaning today? X-rays?
- What is the overall state of my child’s dental health?
- Would you take a look at my child’s sports mouth guard? Can you customize one that is up-to-date for my child?
- Tell me about sealants. Is that something I should consider for my child?
These are all great questions to ask when you are at your child’s pediatric dentist appointment. And if you have others, jot them down too. The only person more concerned about your child’s teeth than we are…is you.
With children’s teeth, it’s so important to start good dental care early. Prevention is essential, and your family’s pediatric dentist will help start you on the path to a healthy mouth for you and your children later in life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has some wonderful online games and tools to help your children learn about their teeth and how to care for them.
For more information on caring for your child’s teeth, and some fun surprises they can expect on their first visit, take a look at our pediatric dentist approach.