Do you have a toddler approaching the age of three who hasn’t visited the dentist yet? If you’re thinking, “Three sounds too young to go to a pediatric dentist,” then we’d like to tell you why now is actually the perfect time.
We’ll start off with a few facts about pediatric dentistry and why it’s so essential for your child to visit a pediatric dentist as opposed to a general dentist. Then we’ll dive into the importance of seeing the dentist at an early age!
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), studies have found that one in four children will develop a cavity by the time they are in preschool. This statistic presents families with the challenge of keeping up a consistent dental hygiene regimen at home.
Because of the prevalence of tooth caries among children, dentists encourage an early first visit as a preventative measure. In fact, it’s typically recommended that children visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes in, which will occur well before their third birthday! The visit will allow the dentist to examine your child for any signs of incipient tooth decay, talk to you about good oral hygiene practices, and help your child get familiar with the experience of being in a dentist’s office.
Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that going to the dentist will be painful. By paying a visit to your dentist in Philadelphia, you will see that dental care has evolved. Dental professionals now have access to the best technology and modern techniques. Continuing Education courses allow your dentist to stay up-to-date on best practices and how to keep making patient visits as comfortable as possible!
Trust is built in an honest, communicative relationship. Be honest about your concerns and fears, and your dentist will be better able to create a comfortable experience for you. When you have questions, ask! Your dentist won’t know about your doubts until you voice them. This communication will create an opportunity for you to learn and build trust between you, your child, and the dentist.
Does it matter if your toddler´s baby tooth gets a cavity? It’s just going to fall out anyway, right?
Baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) serve the important purpose of “place-holding” for future adult teeth. If a baby tooth falls out too soon before the permanent tooth begins to come in, the adjacent teeth will begin to drift in and fill the empty space. This can cause serious problems when the permanent tooth finally grows in.
When a baby tooth presents decay, your pediatric dentist may suggest getting a filling when a pulpotomy and stainless steel crown are unnecessary. A pulpotomy and stainless steel crown are needed when signs of infection are present, such as pain and swelling. In this case, the dentist will remove the decay and the offending nerve, placing a filling and crown over the tooth. When decay in a baby tooth goes deep enough, it can reach the permanent tooth as well. This circumstance can set your child up for decayed permanent teeth at an early age.
It is never too early to teach children how to brush their teeth, and it’s never too late to reiterate the lessons of dental hygiene. After all, even if you show them good oral hygiene when they’re babies, that doesn’t mean that they’ll faithfully keep up those habits throughout their adolescence. Oral hygiene training is a continual process that takes refining, but it is well worth it.
Depending upon your specific needs, your child’s first dental visit should go something like this:
It’s time to decide where you’ll take your child for pediatric dentistry. At Penn Dental Family Practice, we offer care specific children and family members at every stage of life. In addition to our pediatric dentists, we have a number of different specialties all available under one roof:
Our dentists bring a high level of expertise to the art and science of dental medicine. Many of our dentists teach the next generation of dentists at the University of Pennsylvania dental school or work at other prestigious institutions, such as the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
What are you waiting for? Get your children on track for a healthy smile by taking them to a pediatric dentist at Penn Dental Family Practice. With two convenient locations to choose from, you’ll never have to travel far to get the highest quality of care!
To schedule your child’s next appointment, please call our office at 215-898-7337.