Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
Did you know that 42 percent of young children develop a cavity in at least one of their primary teeth?
Tooth decay occurs in the mouths of children just as it does in the mouths of adults: bacteria within the mouth eat away at the tooth enamel. Inadequate dental care and brushing are the most common causes of cavities in children.
Because of this high percentage, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend that children visit the dentist by the time they reach their first birthday. Given that most children do not have more than two or four teeth at their first birthday, this recommendation is often a shock to parents.
There are three specific reasons why early dental care is recommended for very young children:
- Early exposure to the dentist prevents dental anxieties. Millions of Americans put off having necessary dental work done (or even going to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup) due to anxieties they have related to the dentist. It is the firm belief of the ADA and AAP that children who are regularly taken to the dentist from the very start are much less likely to associate any fear or anxiety with the dentist. Because they have visited the dentist all their lives, they understand that dental appointments are just a normal part of life.
- Educate parents on good oral health care. Parents strive to do their best in raising their children out of the love that they have for them. However, many parents unintentionally cause trouble to brew in the mouths of their children. Offering young children candy, sweet tea, soda, and juice makes their teeth vulnerable to developing tooth decay very quickly. These sugar-laden foods and beverages leave the teeth coated in sugar and acids that quickly erode the tooth enamel. By simply offering children water to drink, or milk with a meal, the teeth will be much less likely to succumb to decay.
- Break bad oral habits early. This is often the most difficult part of handling the dental care of very young patients. Pacifiers, thumbs, and fingers often provide young babies with comfort; however, continued use of these can negatively affect the development and health of the teeth. Pacifiers, thumbs, and fingers put pressure on the teeth and palate, causing teeth to become misaligned. This misalignment not only creates the need for extensive orthodontic treatment, but it also makes cleaning the teeth more difficult. Another habit that must be broken early is allowing children to fall asleep at the breast or with a bottle of milk/formula. Breast milk, regular milk, and formula leave the teeth bathing in sugar, and if the teeth are not brushed, they are exposed to decay-causing sugars and bacteria overnight.
Call our Colleyville TX Dental Office
At Azure Dental, we want all of our patients to have the greatest chance for optimal oral health. From our youngest to our oldest patients, we are committed to providing them with the best chance of having healthy teeth for a lifetime.
Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment for your child.