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Why you should take your toddler to the dentist

It’s easy to assume that children don’t really need to see a dentist until they have all of their teeth. Or, you may believe they don’t need to go at all.

According to the Australian Dental Association, you should be taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth is visible or when they reach 12 months old (whichever comes first). By the time they are two they should have been to the dentist at least once.

There are many positive reasons for starting so early – after all prevention is better than cure. Visiting the dentist isn’t just specifically about teeth, it’s about the whole mouth including gums, lips, inside of mouth, how they bite etc. At each visit your dentist will be checking everything. And by teaching and practicing good dental habits early on, you’re setting them up for good teeth in their adult life.

So, why should you take your toddler to the dentist?

Prevent a fear of the dentist

Unfortunately, it’s easy for us as adults to project our fears and anxieties onto children. Many of us will have a bad story when it comes to the dentist, and if that’s all your child hears about, they may grow up with the same anxieties. That’s why it’s important to take them for regular check-ups from an early age, so they can form their own positive experiences. In most cases, dentists are friendly and approachable and not every visit is painful. There are also dentists who specialise in families or young children and they will know exactly how to put your child at ease. They can even make it fun.

Spot problems early

Thumb sucking and dummies can all have an effect on a child’s alignment and bite – or maybe something just isn’t forming properly. Whatever it is, by taking the child early, the dentist will be able to detect the issue early. This prevents expensive and painful surgery later, as issues like these are much easier to fix when the jaw and teeth haven’t fully developed yet.

Oral health care tips and advice

As parents, we want to set our children up for their adult life as best we can, and oral health and hygiene are important parts of adulthood. Teaching our children when and how to brush their teeth is so important for the prevention of tooth decay. However, a dentist can offer advice on so much more. On your child’s first visit they’ll want to understand your child’s medical history and overall health and development so they can discuss things like:

  • Teething
  • The best brushing techniques
  • How your child’s teeth will come together (or their bite)
  • Gums and cheeks
  • Any habits they have like sucking their thumb or being partial to a dummy
  • Any risk of decay and how to prevent it
  • Nutritional advice – some things we may deem healthy can be unhealthy for our teeth

When you visit the dentist, they’ll be able to advise you on what the best daily habits for your children are. They can also guide you on what to do now, to protect their teeth for life. Setting them up to enjoy health teeth and gums for many years to come.

 


Article provide by Hawthorn Road Family Dental Clinic

 

 

Author: NBMs

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