Nearly 3.5 billion people around the world suffer at least one oral disease. That makes oral diseases extremely common, with untreated dental caries in permanent teeth the most common health condition today. The disease affects 550 million children with milk teeth. Oral diseases can become a massive burden that, in some cases, lasts a lifetime. They can cause pain, discomfort, and disfigurement. In extreme cases, these diseases prove fatal. The best way to ward off oral illnesses is to implement proper dental care early in life. Taking your children to a Nicholasville pediatric dentist from the time they’re small can help instill healthy dental care practices that last a lifetime.
To ensure that you get as much helpful information as possible during your visit to the pediatric dentist, you need to ask the right questions before you leave their office. Here are some of those questions.
1. When Should My Child Come for a Dental Appointment?
If this is your first child, then you probably have some questions on when to bring in your child for their first dental visit, as well as how often to do it after that.
Generally, it’s recommended that your child visits the dentist by the time they celebrate their first birthday. By this time, your baby’s teeth will most likely have kicked in. Once your child is two years old, you need to bring them to the dentist every six months.
What if your baby still doesn’t have teeth by their first birthday? It’s still recommended that you bring them to the dentist. Your dentist will inspect their gums and identify any potential issues with the baby’s oral health.
2. What Goes on During the First Visit?
Another essential question to ask your pediatric dentist in Nicholasville is what to expect during the first visit. Initial visits are usually meant to get your child used to the dentist’s office. You also get to learn some dental care tips that you’ll pass on to your children.
During your child’s first visit to the dentist, they’ll sit on your lap as the dentist performs their mouth. The dentist will also clean your child’s teeth. If your child doesn’t have teeth, the dentist will clean their gums.
Note that pediatric dentists use specialized tools to clean your baby’s teeth, just like they do for adults. Knowing what to expect helps you prepare your child for the visit, so they have a good experience at the dentist’s office. You want to avert any dental anxiety that may develop from a bad experience.
3. How Can I Avert Bad Dental Habits in My Child?
One of the most helpful questions to ask your kid’s dentist is how to prevent unhealthy dental habits before they occur in your child. One of these habits is sucking the thumb, which can adversely affect teeth development.
While most children will quit thumbsucking very early in life, one in five children will continue to do it past their fifth birthday. Your dentist may be able to recommend how to discourage thumbsucking so your child’s teeth can develop properly.
4. Which Toothpaste Should My Child Use?
Keeping your child’s teeth clean is critical to their overall oral health. That means tooth brushing should start at an early age.
The toothpaste you select for your child as soon as they’re tooth-brush ready makes a huge difference in determining how well their teeth are maintained. Remember, the ingredients matter most.
Generally, children’s toothpaste differs from toothpaste meant for adults. Children’s toothpaste does not contain whitening agents or harsh chemicals that might hurt your child’s young enamel. You should also avoid any toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as it can cause canker sores in children.
Try to go for toothpaste that contains enticing flavors so your children will enjoy brushing. Try to avoid mint, cinnamon, and other strong flavors. Kid-friendly flavors include bubble gum and fruit.
5. When Can My Child Begin to Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
Some parents wonder whether they should choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride for their children. The simple answer is that there’s no danger in using fluoride at an early age. In fact, dentists recommend it to help protect your child’s teeth into adulthood.
However, it’s best to go for toothpaste varieties that are low in fluoride for children under five. That’s because they tend to swallow more toothpaste while brushing.
As soon as your children are above five years old, they should be able to rinse well and spit. At this age, you can introduce a mouthwash as well. A mouthwash can prove helpful for children with overlapping teeth as the toothbrush may not be able to reach certain areas and clean them.
6. What Should I Do If My Child Gets a Tooth Chipped?
Knowing how to address some unexpected dental issues like a chipped tooth can help prevent a lot of distress when they do happen. Most pediatric dentists will advise you to schedule a dental visit right away, so the severity of the chip is evaluated and addressed.
The solution will usually depend on whether your child is in pain, as well as whether you’re dealing with a baby tooth or an adult tooth.
Know What to Ask Your Nicholasville Pediatric Dentist
Taking your child to a Nicholasville pediatric dentist is a huge part of taking good care of their oral health. Get the best out of the first visit by knowing what to ask your pediatric dentist during the session. Then go ahead and implement the dentist’s recommendations.
Are you interested in the best dental care services for your child? Contact us today to schedule an appointment.