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You can take your child to a pediatric dentist at 6 to 12 months of age. A pediatric dentist has the expertise to examine the oral cavity of your child for any illness, bacterial infestation, or congenital dental problems. At that time your pediatric dentist can give you the right advice for your child along with treatment involving mouth cleaning, teeth examination for any decay, infant feeding practices, and finger sucking. A pediatric dentist is trained to help preschool or older children during their visit to the dental clinic. They have a general idea of what to expect. It is important to go to the dentist if your child experiences dental symptoms such as inflammation or pain. A pediatric dentist knows how to build excitement and understand your child well. Remember that your feeling toward dental visits may be quite different from that of your child. Be honest with your view of the dentist. If you have dental anxieties, be careful not to relate those fears or dislikes to your child. Parents should show their moral support by staying calm while in the dental exam room.

Dental Anxiety

At the first visit to a dentist, keep your child calm while a pediatric dentist records total health history. Children can sense the anxieties of parents and become anxious about the visit. During any cavity filling or restoration of teeth procedure, a parent may attend to their child as some children tend to be stubborn, defiant, or anxious about the ongoing situation. As a parent, you can watch your child react and prepare accordingly. Some children aged 10 to 24 months may attach themselves more closely with their parents and get visibly upset when taken away from their parents for an exam. It is seen that a securely attached child may find it difficult to cope with a brief separation from their respective parents. A two-year-old may say “no” as a common response. For a three-year-old child, saying ‘OK’ is seen as acceptance of undergoing a dental procedure such as filling a cavity. Children are not socially mature enough to separate themselves from their parents. With growing age, a four-year-old can cope with separation anxiety and may sit in another room from parents for exams and treatment procedures.

Dental Examination

Normally, 30 to 45 minutes is a minimum taken by the dentist for the first visit. Depending on the age of your child, the visit can include a full examination of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. It may include polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains. The dentist may show you and your child proper teeth cleansing techniques such as flossing and advise you on the need for fluoride. Your dentist may recommend X-rays to diagnose decay, depending on your child’s age. X-rays are also used to see if the root of a jammed baby tooth may affect an adult tooth. In general, young children shouldn’t undergo dental radiographs unless necessary. It is recommended that your children visit a dentist every six months for a follow-up examination.

How can you maintain healthy oral hygiene for your child?

As a parent, you can guide your child to maintaining healthy oral hygiene. Your child’s teeth must be protected at home. After brushing the teeth, cleaning the gum with a clean damp cloth is essential. When your child’s first tooth appears, start brushing with a small soft-bristled toothbrush and use a very small amount of toothpaste. You can prevent baby bottle tooth decay by preventing bacterial infestation after consumption of food or delicacies. At the time of bed, don’t give your children a bottle of milk, juice, or any type of sweetened liquid. Help your child brush his or her teeth until the age of 7 or 8. Parental guidance can help your child toward better dental health. Observe your child brushing his teeth, and follow the same brushing pattern to reduce missed spots. Limit foods and treats that increase tooth decay. This includes hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, etc. Try to offer real fruits to your child rather than juice. The teeth are cleaned and scraped by fiber.

When do we need a Pediatric Dentist?

As soon as your child gets their first tooth, it is the right time to take your child to the dentist. The American Dental Association usually recommends consulting a dentist at about 6 months old. It is a critical age when a tooth erupts, white spots appear, lesions, and bleeding can occur. At this point, parents should wait; they may consult a pediatric dentist right away. Tooth decay affects nearly 1 in 5 children under the age of 5 according to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists. Your pediatric dentist has the experience to diagnose and treat your child’s dental problems effectively. As a parent, you can keep track of your child’s oral health, including tooth decay, injuries, and other issues associated with dental health. You may want to bring your child to your dentist. They tend to know how to make a frightening experience for some kids a lot of fun and they specialize in understanding difficulties faced by children with dental issues.

Pediatric Dental Consultation

Patients must undergo a positive consultation experience rather than suffering from fear and anxiety. The décor of the exam room should appeal to children and teens. It may have brightly colored wall paint with engaging murals. Games, children’s magazines, and perhaps a fish tank in the waiting area go a long way toward easing apprehension and uncertainty. Pictures of the smiles of bright and healthy children go a long way. It inspires other children and makes pediatric dentists work harder. It is important to note that children may have to return every six months or sooner for their check-up with a pediatric dentist depending on their current condition.

How do you maintain pediatric dental hygiene?

It is important to maintain certain precautionary measures while feeding a baby. You can gently clean their gums with a cloth and water, especially after breastfeeding. You can use a soft toothbrush designed for children’s mouths, but do not start using fluoridated toothpaste until your child is at least 2 years old. When teeth are forming, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fluoride use can cause fluorosis. Fluorosis can cause spots on teeth, discoloration, and in severe forms, can even create pits in teeth. Your dentist may inform you by sharing a pamphlet or showing a video about maintaining dental hygiene. For new patients, it is an entirely new experience. Small children should not be stuck in the waiting room for too long while parents are busy filling out paperwork ahead of their visit. You may come up with a list of questions you may have about practicing good oral hygiene for your baby. The dentist performs a routine examination, looking for tooth decay, rechecking your child’s gums, jaws, and evaluating bite pressure. It is important to clean your baby’s teeth and gums. Your pediatric dentist recommendations will guide you and your child in the coming years towards a lifetime of good oral health.