Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children begin seeing a dentist as early as their first birthday? You may be surprised that they’d need to go so early, but establishing a dental home – defined as the relationship between a patient and a dentist that provides comprehensive oral care and education – can have a strong influence on your child’s oral health. Here are 4 reasons why it’s important to find your family’s dental home as soon as possible.
1. It Helps Your Child Get Used to the Dentist
Many children have a fear of going to the dentist. Finding a regular dentist early on will make it easier to build trust; your child will be more willing to allow someone they recognize to look inside their mouths. It’ll also help teach them that the dentist’s office is not a scary place, which can go a long way towards curbing dental anxieties that could potentially follow them to adulthood.
2. It Gives You a Place to Go During an Emergency
A dental emergency can happen at an early age, and since time is usually of the essence, you’ll want to already have someone you can turn to if the worst happens. Ask your dentist in Fayetteville for their emergency card and keep it in a place you can easily get to it. Better safe than sorry!
3. The Dentist Can Educate You on Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth
Your child will need you to brush their teeth until they’re old enough to do so unsupervised. A family dentist will be able to teach you the best brushing techniques and help you with details that you might not have thought about, like making sure the tongue is clean. They can also educate you on how to break habits such as thumb-sucking that can ultimately lead to orthodontic problems down the line.
4. It Helps Prevent Cavities
Despite what you may think, cavities in baby teeth can be a serious problem even though they’ll fall out eventually. Not only are they painful for your child, but they can also affect the development of adult teeth. Visiting the dentist twice a year makes it more likely for tooth decay to be caught early, and thorough cleanings can be an important aspect of preventing them altogether.
When looking for a family dentist in Fayetteville, consider location, the environment of the office, and the services offered. Above all, it should be someone you can trust; your child’s smile is a precious and vulnerable resource that’s meant to last their entire lives, and the care they receive early in life can be the key to making it last as long as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Angela C. Ruff is currently serving as the President of the Greater Fayetteville Dental Society. At her practice, Ascot Aesthetic Implants and Dentistry, she offers sedation dentistry and other treatments for patients with dental anxieties. She also offers dentistry for children to ensure proper oral development. To schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (910) 630-6199.