Early experiences can shape an individual’s worldview for a lifetime. Some people avoid the dentist because they had a bad experience when they were a child, or maybe even heard about someone else’s bad experience. At Pine Ridge Dental, we understand the importance of ensuring children feel comfortable and at ease in the dental office. We also know the value of optimal oral health at an early age to make sure future dental visits are positive.
Starting Oral Care Early
It begins with the first visit to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that dental visits begin when the first tooth erupts or at least by the first birthday. One tip we have for new parents is that you can help your child by rubbing gums well before a tooth is coming in – with your finger or a damp washcloth. It’s best to get infants comfortable with this before the gums are sore with a first tooth coming in. It may not seem like a necessary event; however, starting dental visits early in life – with child-friendly dental professionals – is essential in establishing a good foundation for future oral care. Ultimately, the formative years are crucial for creating a solid base for good feelings toward dental care.
Education and Motivation for Oral Health
Children are curious little people, and dental visits provide an opportunity to educate and motivate kids regarding their oral health. Starting at an early age, when children are highly motivated to keep up with their dental hygiene, you can expect them to continue these good habits throughout life.
Kids need to become acclimated to new environments. The dental office is full of exciting and odd machines and materials. Kids want to know what these things are and what they do. It is important to explain processes and procedures to them in a language they can understand. Knowing how specific procedures will go is important for children and adults. Knowledge can alleviate fear and anxiety.
Learning about your teeth, how and why to keep them in good health and proper oral hygiene techniques is vital to minimize the chances of decay and gum disease. Learning these things early in life creates good habits that can last a lifetime.
We care about all our patients and their oral health at Pine Ridge Dental, and we have a particular soft spot for kids. Contact us to schedule your child’s visit to the dentist.