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Why Is Early Care by a Pediatric Dentist So Important?
Establishing healthy routines early in a child's life is essential, and making an appointment at the pediatric dentist should rank relatively high. Once a child gets that milestone first tooth, a trip to get it checked and start the annual trek to the dentist should begin. People may believe dental health in a child that young is meaningless, but on the contrary, it is one of the most significant things a parent can do. Explore some of the benefits that early care by a pediatric provider can have on a child.
Why choose a pediatric dentist?
Children present unique challenges from a health care perspective. Their bodies are far smaller, and the tools and skills needed to care for kids warrant a provider who can handle them. A dental specialty dedicated to the care of pediatric patients requires training that exceeds that of a general dental practice. The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry is the lone organization that the American Dental Association acknowledges as legitimate in the field. These dentists have undergone training after dental school to be able to provide care for children from infancy well through adolescence.
Why does early dental care matter?
Oral health is a critical part of the body's overall functioning. Having a mouth teeming with bacteria will only lead to issues further down the line. If there is a compromised tooth or gum in the mouth, it allows easy access for these bacteria to enter the body and possibly the bloodstream. There are several reasons why getting a child's oral health on track early is most beneficial.
Establish healthy oral routines
Baby teeth need TLC just like permanent ones do. Parents may be under the impression that because these teeth are temporary, keeping them clean and healthy is not too important. However, parents should learn how to care for these teeth to set the standard for when kids eventually take over. Even though a child's first set of teeth is temporary, damage to these may trickle down to the permanent teeth growing underneath.
Stop bad practices that lead to cavities
Babies eat by breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Once the first tooth breaks through the gum, a pediatric dentist may recommend ways to get a baby away from on-demand feedings at night. Breast milk contains natural sugar. Feeding in the evening can therefore cake a baby's fledgling teeth in sugar, where it may eventually start causing damage. Also, knowing what age to help stop a pacifier or thumb-sucking practice can help a child's oral health tremendously.
Intervene before issues become overwhelming
Though seeing a dentist by age 1 is recommended, many children do not. By the time they do, their teeth may be riddled with cavities. Some elementary school children may also have gum disease caused by inadequate brushing. The dentist can help stave off tooth decay by reinforcing healthy eating, drinking and brushing habits at a yearly checkup.
Think of the pediatric dentist as another required medical appointment a toddler should attend. Without scrutiny, bacteria may go unchecked, and issues affecting a child's overall health may crop up.
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