Five Reasons All Children Should Have a Dentist by Age One
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children receive their first dental exam when the first tooth appears or by age 1.
Does that seem early to you? Those budding teeth are just temporary. Does a dental exam at such a young age really matter?
Small children are downright squirmy and have short attention spans. Because of this, it can seem impossible and perhaps unnecessary to have a successful dental exam, so many parents choose to postpone it for a few years. Here are five reasons, your trusted providers at Rainbow Pediatrics recommend that all kids have their first dental exam by their first birthday.
Five Reasons Kids Should See a Dentist By Age One
- Starting at a young age helps set a positive tone for going to the dentist. Teaching kids the importance of taking care of their teeth from a young age helps reduce their risk of cavities and increases their chances of having good dental health for life.
- Healthy baby teeth are essential for speaking. Children who are frequently exposed to sugary liquids, including breastmilk, formula, and juices, have a higher risk of developing Early Childhood Caries (ECC). Caries is another word for tooth decay and is the single most common chronic childhood disease. ECC can cause significant discomfort to the child and can destroy their teeth, which are critical for overall health and speech development.
- Baby teeth create space for adult teeth to follow. Sometimes people question whether it is necessary to treat cavities in baby teeth. Not only do cavities hurt, if left untreated, they can also prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting their overall health and development. Furthermore, tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth, and expensive emergency and restorative interventions.
- Having a year one dental visit can save money in the long run. A study in the journal Pediatrics found that children who receive their first dental visit by age one have 40% lower dental costs in their first five years than children who do not. This is because many parents wait for a child to be in pain before being seen, which can lead to more costly treatment.
- Dentists can detect tooth decay early. No one likes having cavities filled. Preventative dental care can identify and address issues while they are small and easy to treat. Cavities can be prevented with proper brushing and good oral hygiene. Dentists also provide essential education to help parents understand how to care for their child’s teeth correctly and whether or not fluoride is advised.
Help kids appreciate the importance of good oral hygiene and preventative dental care. Many people (both adults and kids) fear the dentist because some of their first experiences were unpleasant procedures. This doesn’t have to be the case. Help your kids have positive dental experiences by having them seen by the dentist from an early age. Need a recommendation for a pediatric dentist? Ask your pediatric provider for a referral the next time you visit or give us a call.