A lot of children don’t see their family dentist until they are over 2 or 3 years old, far later than what dentists and medical professionals recommend. One of the reasons why this happens is because parents think their kids are too young to see a dentist. Did you know that 34% of the children who visited the dentist for the first time are about 2 to 3 years old? But when should they see a Culver City dentist?

Culver City Dentist: When should children see a dentist?

The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) suggests that a child should go to the dentist by the age of 1 year old, or within 6 months after the child’s first tooth erupts. Primary teeth should begin growing when a child is around 6 months old.

The AAPD also advises parents to bring their children to the Culver City dentist twice a year within 6 months after the first tooth grows. These two visits are very important because it will allow the pediatric dentist to check new development in the child’s mouth and to evaluate changes in the condition of the gums and teeth.

Why are primary teeth important?

Visiting the dentist will help your children keep their primary teeth in place until they are lost naturally. Primary teeth are very important because of the following reasons:

  • They help in speech development
  • They help children chew their food properly, to maintain good nutrition.
  • They promote a healthy smile that will help kids feel good about how they look
  • They help save space for their permanent teeth

Culver City Dentist: Why do children need dental checkups?

Below are the reasons why dental checkups important:

  1. Pediatric dentists help provide a good dental home for the child. If a dental emergency arises, parents can bring their child for treatment at a comfortable location.
  2. Pediatric dentists can educate parents and children during the visit. Sometimes, they introduce one or more factors to help enhance tooth heath (xylitol, sealants, or fluoride supplements). They also ask parents to change their child’s oral behavior, like reducing sugar in their diet or transitioning from sippy cups to adult-sized drinking glasses.
  3. Pediatric dentists keep meticulous records of their child’s dental health and jaw development. Generally, painful dental conditions do not happen overnight. If the pediatric dentist knows the health history of the child, then it becomes easier to anticipate issues in the future before they even happen.
  4. Sometimes, dental X-rays are the only way to identify if a child has tiny cavities. They may not feel any pain, but if they’re left unchecked, those tiny cavities can rapidly lead to tooth decay, large cavities, and childhood periodontal diseases. A Culver City dentist will only use dental X-rays to determine if a child has orthodontic irregularities or cavities.

Do children with healthy teeth still need to visit the dentist?

The answer is yes. The condition of your child’s teeth can change rapidly. Let’s say the dentist evaluated your child’s teeth as healthy just six months ago. Now, if there are changes with their diet or oral habits, then your child is vulnerable to teeth misalignment or tooth decay.

Aside from visual examinations, the pediatric dentist provides thorough dental cleanings during the dental checkup. These cleanings help eradicate the debris and plaque that can build up between the teeth and in other areas that may be hard to reach. While a good homecare routine is important, these cleanings will provide an additional tool to keep your child’s smile healthy.

The dentist may apply dental sealants to the child’s molars. They brush the impenetrable liquid plastic substance onto the molars to seal out any harmful bacteria, debris, and acid.

Most pediatric dentists will monitor the child’s fluoride levels during the dental checkups. Sometimes, they will apply a topical fluoride gel to the teeth after cleaning. Topical fluoride can re-mineralize the teeth and staunches mineral loss to protect the teeth enamel from oral acid attacks. They also give children fluoride supplements they can bring home, especially those who live in areas where fluoride isn’t added to the community water supply.

If you have concerns or questions about when to schedule your child’s dental checkups, you may contact your Culver City dentist.

How to prepare your child for the first dental checkup

If you start to bring your children to the Culver City dentist around the time the first tooth emerges, then they’re too young to feel nervous. However, if you waited until your child is about 2 years old, then he or she may already feel anxious at the time of the first visit.

How do you prepare your children for the first visit to the dentist?

  • Learn more about it. There are lots of books and online sources where you can teach your children about dental health and dental checkups. Other websites have stories and fun activities to help children learn about their teeth.
  • Give your child a sneak peek. You can take your child with you for your next dental checkup. Make sure your child sees you having your teeth cleaned and examined.
  • Play around. Do roleplays with your child where you take turns playing the dentist and the patient. You can use a mirror to examine each other’s teeth, or just use your fingers to count each other’s teeth so your child will be familiar with how it feels like when a dentist checks his or her teeth.
  • Planning is everything. Make sure to plan plenty of time, so you don’t have to rush the dental checkup. Your child should rest well, so he or she will feel comfortable and relaxed.

A lot of parents don’t understand how important it is for children to have dental checkups. It may seem like your child has a healthy set of teeth, but if there are changes with his or her oral behaviors, then that wouldn’t be the case. There’s a continuing need for more education when it comes to proper brushing and flossing. Bringing your child to a dentist in Culver City is a great opportunity to learn how best to care for your child’s teeth.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Culver City Dentist: Why do Children Need Dental Checkups?," in Medicalopedia, March 12, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8463/culver-city-dentist-why-do-children-need-dental-checkups/].