Your child should start seeing a dentist shortly after they start developing their first baby teeth. While your toddler is not going to get a complex cleaning and x-rays, like you do, their dentist will give them an examination to ensure their baby teeth are developing correctly and on schedule. You will want to schedule checkups for your toddler twice a year unless their dentist recommends a different schedule.
As they get a little older and are able to sit still for short periods of time, their dentist and hygienist will start to help them get comfortable with regular teeth cleanings. Initially, their teeth are cleaned for as long as the child will remain still. If they become fussy and want to stop, that is okay.
The purpose of these visits is to work with them so they are comfortable visiting the dentist and getting use to cleaning processes. Their dentist and hygienists will also instruct them on proper brushing and encourage good at-home oral care habits.
Parents should not overlook how important these early visits are for their child. Your child’s baby teeth are prone to tooth decay and cavities, just like permanent teeth. In addition, the bacteria that causes tooth decay can cause toothaches, infections, and other problems.
By bringing your toddler in for regular visits, not only do they benefit, but parents can also learn how to help their little ones develop proper oral care habits. Once children get to the age where they start losing their baby teeth, regular checkups will become even more important.
Just like when they were a toddler, their dentist will want to verify their permanent teeth are developing correctly and are not creating any problems. For instance, their dentist will compare how fast their jaw bone is developing in relation to getting their permanent teeth and whether there potentially could be overcrowding of teeth.
They also will check to make sure permanent teeth are not developing improperly, where they might grow in behind or in front of a baby tooth, or at an angle through the gum tissue. Additionally, once they are between seven and nine, their dentist will do a more thorough assessment of tooth and jaw bone development.
This assessment will let parents know what to expect in the coming years and whether their child might need orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign or traditional braces. By monitoring the oral development at this age, some orthodontic issues can be addressed before they become an actual problem that needs correcting.
In some cases, your child may not have to worry about wearing braces or using Invisalign if development and spacing issues were addressed before they reach their tween and teen years. For further questions about proper oral care in children or to schedule an appointment for your child, please feel free to contact Oasis Family Dental at (807) 623-2662 today!