Did you know that experts recommend that children visit the dentist for the first time at age one at the latest? Although your child may not have many teeth, early visits offer important benefits for his or her oral health. Amherst, NH, pediatric dentists Drs. James McAveeney and Andrew Cheifitz help young patients care for their smiles at Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire.
Why is it important for children to visit the dentist at age one?
Years ago, children didn't visit the dentist for the first time until they had all or most of their baby teeth. Today, we know that early visits provide the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. Age one visits offer several important advantages, including:
- Cavity Diagnosis: Your baby can develop cavities even if he or she only has a few teeth. Contrary to popular belief, tooth decay isn't a minor issue when children are young. If your child loses a tooth due to decay, his permanent teeth may be affected. Baby teeth act as placeholders for the second set of teeth and also guide teeth into the proper position. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, there may no longer be enough space for permanent teeth to erupt. Should your child's dentist notice any cavities, he or she can treat them before the decay worsens.
- Oral Hygiene Advice: Your child's dentist will provide helpful information on brushing and flossing and discuss tooth-friendly food and beverage choices.
- Identification of Growth and Development Issues: During the first appointment, and subsequent visits, your child's Amherst dentist will examine his or her mouth, face and jaw to ensure that he or she is developing normally. If any problems are spotted, he'll recommend treatments or make referrals to the appropriate specialists.
- Strong Foundations: The earlier you begin taking your children to the dentist, the less likely they will find dental appointments to be scary or stressful. During your baby's first visit, his or her comfort will be the priority. You'll hold him or her in your lap during the examination and will maintain eye contact through the entire short exam.
Keep your child's smile healthy and bright with regular visits to the dentist. Call Amherst, NH, pediatric dentists Drs. James McAveeney and Andrew Cheifitz at (603) 673-1000 to schedule your son or daughter's appointment.