Going to the dentist and practicing good oral hygiene habits need to begin at a young age. More than half of all children have at least one cavity by the time they reach eight years old. Around two in five kids experience tooth decay with their baby teeth by the time they go to kindergarten.  

Your child’s dental health is equally as important as their physical health. Getting them set up with a pediatric dentist in Nicholasville from an early age is key. Not only will they foster a positive relationship with going to the dentist, but they’ll also learn good oral habits. 

This blog will talk about the top seven benefits of pediatric Nicholasville dental visits. Help your child make smart health decisions while saving yourself money on dental problems by taking them to pediatric dental checkups. 

1. Happier and Calmer Kids

Even adults experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. It can be scary for kids to go as well, especially when they’re young and don’t understand what’s going on. 

Pediatric dentists receive specialized training in providing toddler, teenager, and child dental care. They’re carefully trained to acknowledge and understand the concerns of their young patients.

The goal of pediatric dentists is to make children comfortable during their appointments. This results in your child being calmer before, during, and after their dental appointments. They also won’t be nervous when it comes time for them to visit the dentist

2. Awareness of Pediatric Oral Health Issues and Habits

Various childhood habits can result in dental problems later in life. These can include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Finger biting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Chewing objects and toys
  • Long-term pacifier use

Pediatric dentists know about the habits that can result in oral health issues. They’ll work with parents and caregivers to come up with creative solutions to improve the child’s oral health and put a stop to these behaviors. 

For example, a common pediatric dental issue dentists encounter is baby bottle tooth decay. This occurs when a baby’s teeth are continually in contact with sugars from their drinks, such as:

  • Formula
  • Milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Sugar water

Mouth bacteria feed on the sugars, sometimes causing tooth decay. A pediatric dentist will go over tips with the parent on how to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. This can include not putting your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sugary liquid. 

3. Specialized Training and Care

Pediatric dentists go through extensive training working with young teeth and jaws. This specialized training isn’t something that general dentists learn about. 

However, dental problems can occur at any age, even with teenagers and young children. Common dental problems pediatric dentists see include:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Gum disease and gingivitis
  • Orthodontic issues
  • Dental phobias and anxiety
  • Dental emergencies

It’s recommended for your child to start seeing a dentist by the time they turn one year old. Visiting the dentist early allows your child to feel more familiar and comfortable with the process. It also helps their dentist prevent problems before they become worse. 

4. Build Lifelong Oral Habits

Practicing good oral hygiene habits can start as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented with good habits, such as brushing and flossing. A pediatric dentist will recommend various proactive strategies that prevent issues from happening. 

Pediatric dentists will also talk with parents about incorporating a healthy diet into their child’s life. Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks can prevent problems like cavities from occurring. Some tips your dentist might give include:

  • Using a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Brushing for two minutes twice daily
  • Cleaning all surfaces of their teeth
  • Flossing once each day 
  • Exploring dental sealants to protect against decay

5. Preventative Measures Recommendations

Pediatric dentists will have access to different preventative measures they may recommend for your child. These may include:

  • Fluoride applications
  • Routine x-rays
  • Athletic mouthguards

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that’s found in water and soil. It strengthens the enamel of your teeth and helps prevent cavities. While your child can drink fluoride water, having treatments applied will ensure they’re getting the right amount. 

6. Understanding of Your Child’s Changes and Growth Patterns

Your child’s body goes through a lot of changes by the time they reach 18. Their entire jaw changes and moves as the child grows. Working with a pediatric dentist is important because of the number of changes that happen to their oral health during that time. 

For example, puberty can have a major impact on their oral health. Hormonal changes during puberty can encourage oral bacteria growth.

Teenagers may experience symptoms of gingival bleeding and gum sensitivity. 

Other changes that can occur as your child grows up include:

  • Changes in the shape of their bite
  • Bad breath 
  • Cavities 
  • Need for orthodontic treatment 
  • Tooth staining

Your teenager might decide to start snacking late at night or skip brushing their teeth. That’s why it’s important to establish good oral hygiene habits at such a young age. 

7. Use Equipment Designed for Children 

It should come as no surprise that dental equipment that’s used on adults may not be the best option for pediatric patients. Many of these items are large and won’t easily fit in a child’s mouth. 

A pediatric dental office will have specialized equipment that’s designed for small patients. Their offices may also feature familiar cartoon faces and characters to help their patients feel comfortable. They may also offer different flavors of dental cleansers to appeal to children, such as chocolate or bubblegum. 

Partner With an Experienced Pediatric Dentist in Nicholasville

Your child’s dental health should be one of your top priorities. A fear of the dentist shouldn’t get in the way of them receiving great oral healthcare. Working with a pediatric dentist in Nicholasville is important to ensuring their comfort. 

Our goal is to provide you and your child with exceptional kids’ oral health in Nicholasville. Dr. Wheeler uses one-on-one attention to create a personalized treatment plan for her patients. Contact our office to schedule a pediatric dental appointment at your earliest convenience.