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Why You Need to Make Sure Your Child Sees a Dentist

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Some of the most common questions first-time parents or caregivers ask about their child and dental care include the question of when and how often they should see a pediatric dentist for their child. Plus, is it enough to see a general family dentist? And, how can they instill healthy dental health habits in their child?


These are all valid concerns, and it is essential to address them for the overall well-being of your child. Let’s dissect and answer these common questions below.


When and How Often Should Your Child See a Dentist?


A general rule of thumb is to schedule a visit to your pediatric dentist within six months of your baby’s first tooth erupting. The sooner, the better.


The teething process often starts as early as three months, and you can expect your baby’s first tooth to appear when they are around four to seven months old. The first baby tooth often appears at the bottom front part of the mouth. The top front teeth usually follow this eruption after a month or two and the rest will continue until your child is three years old.


Like adults, children are recommended to see a kids’ dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning. Some children might need to see a dentist more often. Your dentist can help you determine how often your child should visit based on their oral health.


The Importance of Seeing a Pediatric Dentist Regularly


Regularly seeing a pediatric dentist can help avert numerous dental issues before they become severe. Here are some reasons why it’s critical to see your child’s dentist as soon as their first teeth appear:

  • Prevent Tooth Decay or Cavities: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
  • Correct Bite Issues: Pediatric dentists are trained to spot bite problems and other dental issues early on. Early detection can help prevent more extensive treatments in the future.
  • Help With Speech Issues: Dental problems such as overcrowded or crooked teeth can affect a child’s speech. Regularly seeing a dentist can help catch these issues early on and prevent speech problems.


What Happens If Kids Don’t Visit a Dentist?


Failing to see a pediatric dentist every once in a while is understandable. Parents are busy, and staying on top of everything is challenging. However, completely neglecting your child’s dental health can have severe and irreparable consequences.


Your child’s oral health is most vulnerable during the early years. Failing to address potential issues can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even tooth loss. Bad oral care can also affect their overall health and well-being, as dental problems can impact nutrition and speech development.


Moreover, not seeing a dentist could also affect how your child’s permanent teeth grow. Neglecting dental care can lead to crooked and misaligned permanent teeth, which can result in expensive, long-term orthodontic treatment when they’re adults.


A Pediatric Dentist vs A Family Dentist


Families with a dedicated family dentist might wonder if their child needs to see a pediatric dentist. While family dentists are trained to treat patients of all ages, pediatric dentists receive additional training and specialize in treating infants, children, and adolescents.


A pediatric dentist is well-equipped to handle any dental issues unique to children. They also understand child psychology better and can make your child feel more at ease during dental appointments. Creating a positive dental experience at an early age is formative to your child’s dental habits in the future.


Creating Healthy Dental Care Habits


Parents can start creating healthy dental care habits for their children even before they have their first baby tooth. Here are some tips to help you establish good oral hygiene practices for your child:

  • Use a wet washcloth or gauze to clean your baby’s gums after feedings. Doing this can help remove bacteria and prevent the buildup of plaque.
  • When their first tooth appears, brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a grain of rice-sized toothpaste.
  • Limit sugary foods, as excessive sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay and cavities.


And as previously mentioned, a regular visit to your child’s pediatric dentist can’t be overstated. Not only do dentists ensure your child’s optimal oral health but they also help shape your child’s dental habits for the better.


Schedule a Consultation with Our Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists


Don’t let your children suffer from the long-term consequences of poor dental hygiene and habits. Prevention is always better than cure. Schedule a consultation with the board-certified pediatric dentists at Bay Area Kids Dentist, and give your child the gift of healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.