Many parents assume that their child doesn't need a dentist until they have their teeth. Some wait until their baby teeth start falling out! But according to experts, children need to see the dentist much earlier. That's why there are pediatric dentists who specialize in dental health for young children. So, when do you need to take your little one for their first appointment with your pediatric dentist in Indianapolis?
Be Proactive About Primary Teeth
Your child's primary teeth, also called baby teeth, are essential for proper digestion, jaw development, and even speech. These teeth are actually placeholders for the permanent teeth, so it's important that they come in correctly. Most children have their first tooth erupt at around 6 months. Once that happens, it's time for a visit to the pediatric dentist! (If your child hasn't had a tooth erupt by their first birthday, go ahead and take them to the dentist.)
Don't assume that your child doesn't need to see the dentist if they only have a few teeth. Delayed eruption or poor oral hygiene may cause problems down the line. A pediatric dentist can ensure that your child's smile develops perfectly!
Why Take Care of Primary Teeth?
Some parents figure that baby teeth are meant to fall out anyway, so why bother with the dentist? There are several reasons:
- Primary teeth help your child chew solid food, so if they don't come in on time or with proper eruption, your child may not gain sufficient nutrition or be able to pre-digest their food.
- Your child's teeth and jaw shape both affect how they talk. Delays in primary teeth can also delay speech development.
- It's important to make space for the permanent teeth. Otherwise, your child may have crowded teeth or impacted teeth that require surgery or braces to correct. Invest in their oral health now and potentially spare some money and pain down the line.
- The sooner your little one gets used to the dentist, the more comfortable they'll be with regular visits!
Your Pediatric Dentist is a Friend!
Many children (and adults) fear going to the dentist. After all, it involves uncomfortable procedures, strange instruments and sounds, and the awkwardness of holding your mouth open. If you don't take your child to a dentist until they're older, they'll likely experience more anxiety — which sets them up for years of aversion to dental care. Take the time now to find a great pediatric dentist in Lafayette and show your kid that dentists aren't scary!
Start establishing good habits by finding a pediatric dentist who can make your little one feel more at ease. A dentist office for kids typically has a friendly approach and fun activities. Ideally, your child feels excited about new teeth coming in, interested in how many teeth they have, when their "grownup teeth" will come in, and so on. A kid-friendly dentist will help them learn to care for their teeth and develop a beautiful smile!
Looking for a pediatric dental center in Indianapolis or Lafayette? Reach out to Pediatric Dentistry West and let's start creating your little one's smile.