Regular dental check-ups are important for every adult - but also for every child. In fact, the sooner kids receive dental checkups, the better.
According to The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should have their first visit to a dentist by the time they are a year old. An early visit helps parents and caregivers learn how to care for children’s teeth, including encouraging children not to fall asleep drinking from a bottle, which leads to tooth decay.
Because dental health is tied to the health of the entire body, making sure kids have the best oral health habits and care at an early age is important for overall well being.
Getting early checkups is important in order to:
- Prevent cavities and tooth decay
- Help children to chew easily
- Help children to speak clearly
- Help children to smile confidently
- Lead to life-long healthy mouths
Caring for Kids’ Teeth
Good oral hygiene starts from the very first baby tooth. Although baby teeth fall out in a few years, these teeth are space holders for your child’s permanent teeth. And without good oral care, baby teeth can decay and cause problems, including gum and tooth pain, inflammation and disease, and difficulty eating and sleeping.
For healthy, strong gums and teeth, children’s teeth should be brushed twice a day when they’re babies, and kids should be taught to brush and floss twice a day on their own as they get older. Getting enough fluoride and eating a diet low in sugary treats is also important.
And of course, good oral hygiene also means starting your child on a path to visiting the dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.
When Should My Child Have Dental X-Rays Taken?
It’s typically recommended to have your child get an initial set of X-Rays between age two and three. It’s a simple process. The first set of X-rays consist of pictures of the front upper and lower teeth. This kind of initial X-Ray will familiarize your child with the process.
Then, when baby teeth in the back of the mouth are touching each other, then regular annual X-rays are recommended. Permanent teeth usually start coming in around age six, and X-rays are important at this time, because they help your dental team make sure your child's teeth and jaw are both healthy and aligned properly. However, if your child has a high risk of dental problems, getting X-rays taken at a younger age may be suggested.
Getting an initial set of X-Rays is important to determine the need for early orthodontic intervention, which can:
- Reduce the need for future tooth extractions
- Create space for crowded, erupting teeth
- Reduce potential injury risk for protruding front teeth
- Preserve necessary space for future permanent teeth
- Reduce future orthodontic treatment time
Bring Your Child for a Visit
If you’re ready to bring your child for a visit to the dentist whether for an exam and cleaning, or a first dental X-Ray, we will get your little one started on a life-long journey of good dental health and overall health, to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy, and keep your child smiling.
Reach out to us to schedule a visit today! We’re here to help.