When you’re a parent, you want what’s best for your children. Naturally, that means you tend to ask a lot of questions. As a pediatric dentist, I love answering those questions. Anything I can do to make my patients and their parents feel more secure and comfortable, is well worth doing.
We thought we’d take this chance to answer a couple of our most commonly asked questions. If you need more information, you can always contact us. We’re happy to help.
One of my most frequently asked questions comes from new parents: “when I should I bring my child in for their first visit?”
Another one pertains to braces: “how will I know if and when my child needs braces?”
These are great questions, since early life dental health is so important. We want to nurture smiles that last a lifetime. Although the answers aren’t common knowledge, we trust you’ll find the answers simple and straightforward.
The First Visit
So, when should you bring your child in for their first dental visit?
It’s a common question. As a parent, you don’t want to bring them in too early, and you don’t want to miss an important window for dental health and overall wellness.
The ADA recommends bringing your child to the dentist for their first visit within six months of their first tooth becoming visible. We agree, but we like our patients to come in for their initial visit sooner than six months after their first tooth appears. Whether their first tooth comes in or not, we like to see our patients at least once before their first birthday.
We offer a free, Well Baby Screening for all children up to 18 months of age, so there’s no reason to not come in for a visit.
Bringing your child to the dentist in their first year is the best way to prevent tooth decay, and the best way for new parents to learn how to properly clean and care for their child’s teeth. We can also help determine your child’s fluoride needs.
If you bring your child to the dentist early and often, you’ll foster a lifetime of good oral care habits, and you’ll also make sure your child is used to visiting your pediatric dentist’s practice. That acclimation goes a long way towards reducing fear and anxiety.
Does My Child Need Braces?
Many parents also ask how and when they’ll know if their child will need braces.
Braces are an easy procedure that gently correct and preserve teeth for a lifetime of great smiles. They’re common among both children and adults, so there’s no reason to be anxious.
Your child might need braces if:
- They experience loss of baby teeth early, late, or irregularly
- They have crowded, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
- They commonly bite their cheek or the roof of their mouth
- They have difficulty chewing or biting
- Their jaw shifts or makes sound
- Their teeth don’t meet regularly
There are other signs as well, but these are the most common indicators.
Many orthodontic conditions are genetic, but they can also be caused by accidents, thumb sucking, mouth breathing, poor nutrition, or tooth decay.
There’s no way to know for sure if your child needs braces unless you bring them to an expert. We’ll be happy to look at their teeth and, if necessary, find a plan that helps preserve their smile and prevent future dental incidents.
Braces are easy and painless and, once your child gets used to them, their care and maintenance becomes second nature.
If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms we listed above, pay us a visit. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
As a pediatric dentist, we’re passionate about your child’s oral health. We’re also passionate about winning smiles that last a lifetime. That means building good dental habits and scheduling regular visits from an early age.
If you ever have any questions about your children and their teeth, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s what we’re here for.
~ Dr. Randy