Did you know that tooth decay is the most common health disorder among children? It’s five times more common than asthma and twenty times more common than diabetes, illnesses that typically get our attention when talking about pediatric health.
Taking preventative measures for your child’s dental health is important. Poor dental health can be a cause of low self-esteem, bullying, and even poor academic performance. Many students miss class for dental work, which may have been prevented by regular cleanings.
Children with serious dental problems may be embarrassed to smile or open their mouths. This can have a significant impact on your child’s sense of self-confidence.
To keep a better watch on your child’s dental health, we’ve gathered together some surprising facts about pediatric dentistry that you may not have been aware of.
- When you take your child to the Montreal dentist matters. Most people take their children to the dentist after they are two years old. However, according to the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association, parents should bring their child to see the dentist after their first tooth emerges, typically between six months and one year of age.
- You should start caring for your child’s teeth right away. Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they appear, even if they have only one baby tooth. Until your child can spit (around age three), you should use only a tiny amount of toothpaste, no bigger than a grain of rice. You can apply this with an infant toothbrush. Wipe your child’s gums (after feeding) with a soft cloth.
Infants and toddlers can be affected by baby bottle tooth decay, which is why pediatric dentists recommend that you don’t put your child to sleep with a bottle. Milk collects around their teeth and can cause decay if it is not removed by cleaning.
- Your child’s first visit to the dentist is important. A good pediatric dentist will do all she or he can to make the experience more comfortable for your child. This gives your child a better perception of dental care overall, encouraging them to see the dentist later in life.
- Pediatric dentists have strategies to connect with your child. Many pediatric dentists offer children rewards at the end of a visit, like picking a toy out of a treasure chest. Some might ask the child to bring in a drawing to hang on the wall. Other specialists may engage the child by smiling and joking around. Since many children are afraid of the noise from dental instruments, as well as sharp tools, sometimes pediatric dentists give silly names to equipment.Pediatric dentists might also monitor the environment of their clinic, wearing colourful masks or scrubs that have cartoon characters on them. Some general practices may have pictures of dental illnesses like periodontal disease and severe cavities hanging up on the walls. Pediatric dentists are encouraged to remove these.
- Be brave for your child’s sake. Even if you’re anxious about your child’s visit to the dentist, you shouldn’t pass that on. Your child is perceptive to your emotions and might become alarmed if he or she senses that you are. If one parent is very anxious at the dentist’s, it might be best to send the other to accompany your child to appointments.
- Schedule your child for regular check-ups. Regular exams and cleanings not only prevent problems, they also teach your child that seeing the dentist doesn’t have to be a negative experience. If you only bring your child to see the dentist when they have a problem, they will see the dentist’s office as a place they must go when bad things happen.It’s best to bring your child to the same dentist so they can build rapport with the specialist. This makes the experience less stressful for your child.
- Yes, baby teeth fall out, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Some people believe baby teeth are not as important because they fall out. Baby teeth act as placeholders, saving the proper amount of space for adult teeth. These baby teeth keep the child’s adult teeth from becoming crooked or overcrowded. Your child’s baby teeth must also be cared for and monitored like permanent teeth.
- Take measures against sports injuries. Between 10 to 39 percent of dental injuries are caused by sports. Consider getting your child a mouth guard to protect his or her teeth. Sometimes a tooth may appear dark because of bleeding inside it, which can happen if your child has been hit in the mouth. If you notice your child has a dark tooth, have a dentist take a look at it.