Prioritising your child’s overall health is understandably one of your goals as a parent or a primary caregiver. A part of maintaining their overall health is taking care of your child’s teeth and gums. If you’ve been practicing oral hygiene measures at home such as proper tooth brushing at least twice a day and flossing, then you’re on the right track.
While performing oral health care at home is crucial, it is also essential to have your child visit the pediatric dentist as early as 6 months old or when the first tooth erupts. Familiarising your child with the dental environment from an early age can be paramount to preventing ‘dentist anxiety’.
Adult teeth can start emerging in children as young as six years old so it is important to create good oral habits as soon as possible. Seeing a dentist regularly for check up and cleans is a key part of ensuring these habits form successfully.
It is a fact that oral health care for children is more complex than that for adults. It is because children require some guidance and behavior management techniques.
This is where our dental team comes in. At Identity Dentistry, we can build a dental home – an ongoing, solid relationship between the child, parent, and dentist with a common goal of maintaining comprehensive, accessible, and coordinated oral health care.
Some might think that taking care of primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, are not important since they will be replaced anyway. This is a frequent dental misconception that should be addressed.
The health of the primary teeth can affect the development of the permanent tooth that lies underneath it. Imagine a dental abscess from a primary tooth that has untreated tooth decay or dental caries.
This abscess will most likely be found at the root tips of the primary tooth, which are close to the developing permanent tooth. This infection will result in a permanent tooth with a development defect called Turner’s tooth.
Dental problems, such as decayed teeth or bad breath, could cause not only pain and discomfort but also negatively affects a child’s mental health. Studies show that children with dental problems miss school more often and get lower grades than those who do not.
This could ultimately result in lower self-esteem and self-confidence, and poor social skills.
Your role as a parent or primary caregiver is crucial in the day-to-day care of your child’s oral health. Children will not be as receptive as you are to the concepts and techniques that are needed so you will have to be their number one educator at home.
Your child would need a lot of guidance and encouragement at the start of their journey towards oral health care. The goal is to establish “diminishing guidance”, which entails a decreasing amount of guidance and support as your child ages.
At the dental clinic, the dentist will be responsible for educating both the patient and the parent or primary caregiver. In cooperation with the primary caregivers, the pediatric dentist can create a trusting, caring, and fun environment for the child.
The goal is to let the child feel comfortable with the dental environment at a very young age to increase the chances of reduced dental anxiety and the formation of good oral health care habits.
Seeing a dentist regularly for check up and clean is a key part of ensuring these habits form successfully.
If you want to know more about caring for your child’s oral health, book an appointment with us so that we can talk more about your concerns!