Seeing a dentist for kids is an incredibly important childhood activity. Kids' dental care can prevent and stop many oral issues before they become serious or irreversible. Dental treatment for children also helps kids develop good oral hygiene practices which can keep their teeth healthy and strong throughout the remainder of their lives. If, as a parent, you know that your kid should see a dentist, but do not know when or why, you are not alone. Continue reading to learn more about the circumstances when and reasons why children should see a dentist.
4 specific times to see a dentist for kids
Kids should regularly see a dentist for children from very early on in their development all the way through their late teenage years. They should also go to the dentist for some specific, unplanned circumstances. The number of times that a child sees a dentist varies as every kid's life is unique, but below are some times when every kid should take a trip to the dentist.
1. The first baby tooth appears
As soon as you see the first tooth peeking through your child's gums, you should schedule a dentist appointment. You might think that baby teeth do not matter because they will get replaced with adult teeth, but proper baby tooth health and development are essential. If baby teeth come in incorrectly or if they are allowed to decay prematurely, they can lead to serious, long-term problems for that child's permanent teeth and overall oral health. Common crying remedies and oral practices such as the use of baby bottles and pacifiers can be effective but at times problematic solutions. A dentist specifically trained to recognize these potential problems early on may save parents and kids alike from many future frustrations.
2. Irregular teething issues occur
The first baby tooth usually starts to show around six months of age. Some children do not get their first tooth until about a year old, though. A 1-year-old who has not shown any signs of teething should probably see a dentist for kids. Delays in tooth development are usually not a cause for alarm. However, they can be an indication of other health issues, so it is better to see a dentist sooner than later. Your child's dentist may also be able to help if your baby seems to be experiencing abnormally severe pain or other issues related to teething.
3. Speech problems develop
Speech is an extremely important part of communication and childhood development. Speech issues and irregularities are often a source of embarrassment and frustration for kids and parents both. Speech problems can even lead to severe emotional, mental, and social issues if they are not swiftly addressed. One major cause of many speech impediments is tooth placement and development. If your child has a whistle, slur, or lisp sound while talking, you should consult a dentist. These irregular speech qualities can indicate crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth, and your dentist may be able to help.
4. Accidents and injuries happen
Accidents are a part of everyone's life at some point. Unfortunately, some of these accidents lead to injury. A common accidental injury during childhood is tooth loss or damage. If any accidents cause tooth trauma for your kid, you should take them to see a dentist right away. Dentists can often mitigate any ill effects that come about from tooth-related accidents if they see the child swiftly enough. Another common way that children and adolescents injure their teeth is by playing sports. Sports are a wonderful way to socialize, reduce stress, get good exercise, and have fun, but they also cause many childhood tooth-related injuries. If your kid experiences a sports-related tooth injury, you should consult a dental professional immediately. You should also see your dentist as soon as your child signs up for a sports team. Your dentist might be able to create or suggest an appropriate mouthguard apparatus to help protect your child's teeth and prevent many of these possible injuries from ever happening.
Seeing a dentist for kids early and often enough can start your child on the right dental path for the rest of their life. Having a dentist on hand for your young one in case of any accidents, injuries, speech problems, or teething troubles is a great idea too. Help your child develop good oral hygiene, have a bright future, and give yourself some extra peace of mind by consulting a dentist for your kid today and listening to their recommendations about dental care for your child.
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