If we asked you, most of you would automatically agree that it is important to schedule regular dental appointments with us for yourself. We advise that all of our patients come in every six months for a routine checkup and a cleaning. However, while most of you do understand the importance of regular appointments for yourself, many of our patients are surprised to learn that their children could also benefit from scheduling checkups with us. We advise that all children come in to see us here at Encino Cosmetic Dentistry as soon as they get their first primary (baby) tooth or their first birthday, whichever comes first.
Why You Should Take Your Child to the Dentist
Most children do not meet us until well into their second year of life – that is a whole year and a half later than we recommend! The reason many of our patients’ parents are waiting is that they are worried that their little one is too young or perhaps does not have enough teeth. As long as at least one primary tooth has come in, or your child is at least a year old, we want to see them.
There are many benefits to getting your child in our exam chair. For starters, we want to keep your little one’s primary teeth in their mouth as long as possible, until they fall out naturally. This typically begins right around their sixth birthday. By keeping their mouths healthy, we can help minimize any bite or alignment issues with their permanent teeth. A healthy mouth can also help improve nutrition in your child, helping them to stay healthy in general. Your child’s teeth are also important to help them learn how to speak clearly and properly, as well.
Finally, by taking your child to see us at an early age, you are setting them up to not only have a good relationship with us (preventing dentophobia - the fear of going to the dentist - later on in life), you can also help encourage them to have a healthy smile for the rest of their life. We can help them learn important oral hygiene techniques like how to brush and floss properly, and we can also educate you (the parent) about proper nutrition and preventing problems that can arise with pacifier use or baby bottle tooth decay.
How to Ensure a Smooth Dental Appointment with Us
If your child is of the age that they are asking questions and are curious, then they may understandably have many questions about coming to see us. It is a good idea to talk to your child about what to expect during their dental appointment, but please avoid using us as a threat or a punishment. We want to keep their experience with us a positive one.
Try to plan your appointment first thing in the morning, when your child is well rested and not hungry. If they eat a meal or snack before their appointment, please clean their teeth for them before they come in. Some parents like to bring their children with them to their appointments so they can see what a routine checkup and cleaning is like.
If your child has never been in to see us and is at least a year old or has their first baby tooth, then it would be a good idea to set up an appointment for them with us. We want to see you (and your children!) every six months to help keep your smiles healthy and happy. To learn more about children’s dentistry, or to set up an appointment with us for yourself or your child, please give us here at Encino Cosmetic Dentistry a call today at (818) 783-0408!