Your child’s first dental visit sets the foundation for a lifetime of oral health. Your baby’s first tooth is an exciting landmark: it represents the reward for all of those long nights and inconsolable fussing that you and your baby have suffered through, and a tangible marker of their growth into toddlers. Even if their teeth haven’t pushed through the gums yet, there are steps you can take to protect your baby’s oral health into the future, starting with the first trip to the dentist.
Preventive dental visits improve oral health and reduce later costs.
Canadian children continue to have high rates of dental disease. This is a cause of great alarm for dentists and other healthcare professionals because we know that overall health and oral health are strongly linked. That’s why prioritizing your child’s dental care can have benefits beyond the oral cavity. Oral health is an integral part of the overall health of children, and research suggests that good oral health habits decrease the risk of developing serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease or dementia later in life.
4 Benefits of Early Dental Visits:
Just because they’re temporary, doesn’t mean they don’t need care. So why should you bring your child to the dentist as soon as possible?
- A pediatric dentist can help you learn the best ways to care for your infant’s gums and teeth, and how to prevent cavities and gingivitis.
- Regular dental visits allow the pediatric dentist to find potential problems early and fix them in the most cost-effective way possible.
- The child learns that going to the dentist is a normal part of life and nothing to be feared or dreaded like they might see on tv or movies.
- Premature removal of baby teeth due to poor oral care can have consequences for adult teeth including teeth crowding and an incorrect bite.
When should I bring my child in for their first dental appointment?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends an oral exam for an infant before they reach the age of one year, or as soon as their first teeth appear—whichever comes sooner. Every child is unique and some begin teething as early as 4 months old, while others may not begin much later.
The Dangers of Dental Anxiety in Children
When it comes to visiting the dentist, first impressions matter. If your child’s first experience at the dentist is negative for them, they may grow up fearing the dentist—especially if you also have dental anxiety. Dental anxiety causes many people to postpone dental appointments that are essential for the maintenance of lifelong oral health. Without regular checkups and cleanings, your child’s oral health can deteriorate quickly. This can lead to even more costly and invasive treatments such as root canals, braces, and crowns—on top of an increased risk for other chronic conditions in adulthood.
Choosing the Right Pediatric Dentist
The dentist can be scary for young children, but it doesn’t have to be. A positive first experience at the dentist can prevent your child from developing dental anxiety. It’s natural to be apprehensive about something new and unfamiliar, but a good pediatric dentist knows how to create a fun first experience for your child—this can shape the child’s relationship to oral health for the rest of their life. Read more about our approach to pediatric dentistry here.
Making Oral Care Education Fun for Kids
Give your little one a good start and bring them to see us at Blok Dental Studio in Saskatoon, where we make oral care education fun for kids. As soon as their first tooth appears, give us a call so we can schedule their first dentist appointment! If you’re curious about what to expect, or looking for infant oral care tips in the meantime, we are only a phone call away.