Even if your child still has their baby teeth, regular dental exams and cleanings are an important part of their oral health. Children can be especially vulnerable to developing cavities if they eat sugary drinks and snacks, drink from a bottle, use a pacifier, and use poor brushing and flossing technique as they learn to brush and floss correctly.
At Manhasset Dental Arts, our dentists Dr. Elizabeth Abrams, Dr. Michael Abrams, and our dental team offer general and cosmetic dentistry services for the whole family at our office in Manhasset, New York. Here’s what you should know about bringing your child in for a dental visit.
When should my child see the dentist?
Every child develops at their own pace. The American Dental Association (ADA) generally recommends that you schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist after the first tooth erupts, which is usually around six months, or by their first birthday at the latest.
After your child’s first dental appointment, the schedule for regular checkups and cleanings is similar to that for adults—every six months, unless your dentist recommends that they come in more or less frequently.
Bi-annual dental visits help to monitor your children’s teeth and gums for signs of decay, but they also allow our dentists to monitor their development and catch orthodontic and other oral health problems as soon as possible.
Symptoms and treatment
Preventive dental care and good oral hygiene at home are the first lines of defense against cavities and dental problems. However, you don’t have to wait until their next checkup if you notice problems or they have symptoms like bleeding gums, a toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, signs of an infection, or trauma from an accident or sports injury.
A routine dental exam is also a great time to ask questions or discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s oral health with our dentists. Some oral health problems like gum disease tend to run in families, so knowing your medical history can help our dentists treat your children more effectively.
If your child has orthodontic issues, our dentists will make recommendations for the best treatment. While it’s never too late to get braces, most orthodontic problems start to show by the time all of the permanent teeth have erupted, around age 12.
Keep in mind that it’s never too late to get your child’s (and your own) oral health back on track. Even if you haven’t been following a bi-annual schedule up to this point, now is a great time to start!
If it’s been more than six months since your child’s last dental checkup and cleaning, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists at our office in Manhasset, New York.