The Benefits of Early Dental Care: Tips From a Dentist for Kids

Kid Friendly Dentist Phoenix, AZ

A dentist for kids, formally called a pediatric dentist, is the right person to talk to about the benefits of getting your children early dental care. A child’s dental health is just as important as other aspects of their physical development. Teeth are designed to last a lifetime when properly cared for, which includes good oral hygiene, biannual dental visits, and a balanced diet.

A pediatric dentist has an additional three years of training after dental school that is focused on preventing, diagnosing, and treating dental problems that affect children. They also learn how to communicate effectively with children and how to care for children with special needs.

A dentist for kids goes over the benefits of early dental care

Education and prevention are the two cornerstones of a lifetime of good dental health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests taking children for their first visit no more than six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.

While it takes time for all of a child’s teeth to erupt, their teeth are fully developed inside the womb, so it is never too early for a dentist for kids to evaluate a child’s mouth. Developing issues can often be detected before a child’s teeth erupt.

A comprehensive examination is performed during a child’s first dental appointment to ensure the teeth will erupt properly and have not been damaged by decay. This visit is also used to educate parents on ways to take care of their baby’s mouth and how habits and diet affect their teeth.

Some of the reasons our dentist for kids recommends early childhood visits to the clinic include:

1. Creates familiarity with the clinic

Many people do not like visiting the dentist, and a huge factor that contributes to dental phobia is not going to the dentist during their formative years. Others develop dental phobias because of negative experiences they have with dentists during their early years.

Taking your child to a pedodontist early on helps to familiarize them with the idea of going to the dental clinic for treatments. The practices of pediatric dentists are typically tailored to suit the tastes and needs of children. Walls are typically painted with bright colors and fun graphics that put children at ease. Kids dentists also stock their waiting rooms with toys, books, and games to keep children relaxed and comfortable during their visits.

Even the tools used by pediatric dentists are designed specifically for children and their smaller mouths. The tools used by them are typically smaller, quieter, and less intimidating than what you would find at a regular clinic. It is also common for kid-friendly dentists to hand out prizes at the end of a child’s treatment to serve as positive reinforcement. Some even have TV monitors for children to watch while they are being treated. All these little things help to build positive memories at the clinic, which will carry over into adulthood.

2. Helps create healthy oral hygiene habits

Good oral hygiene should start before a baby’s first teeth erupt. A baby’s gums should be gently wiped with a clean, damp cloth after meals and before bedtime to protect their teeth against decay. One of a pediatric dentist’s jobs is to educate parents and children on how to take care of their teeth at the different stages of the child’s development.

Forming good oral hygiene habits early on is one of the most effective preventative steps parents can take to ensure their children have excellent oral health for the rest of their lives. The two main dental issues dentists deal with, tooth decay and gum disease, can both be prevented with good oral hygiene.

3. Enables early detection of dental issues

Children have thinner enamel on their baby teeth, which makes them more prone to tooth decay. Taking children to the dentist for routine checkups early on allows for developing issues to be detected before they cause significant problems. For example, tooth decay starts with enamel being demineralized, then it progresses to a cavity. Left untreated, a cavity will continue to expand until the tooth falls out or becomes infected.

Early detection increases the odds of decay being noticed, which makes treating it significantly easier. Sticking with our example, the demineralization phase of tooth decay can be reversed with fluoride treatments, which take just a few minutes to complete and do not cost much. If the decay is allowed to progress, it turns into a cavity that needs to be filled. The decay can no longer be reversed at that point. If the cavity is left untreated, the tooth might eventually need a root canal (one of the most expensive treatments dentists perform) and a crown (which costs more than the first two treatment options for decay combined).

Set your child up for success

Early trips to the dentist make your child more comfortable at the clinic and reduce the odds of them developing serious dental problems. Give us a call or stop by our Phoenix clinic to set up an appointment with our pediatric dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Nett Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at (623) 759-7658 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Kid Friendly Dentist in Phoenix, AZ.

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