Have you been wondering when your child should begin regular dental visits? Our Jonesboro, AR, children's dentist, Dr. Emily Gairhan, explains when visits should start and discusses why regular visits are important.
What's the right age for the first dental appointment?
In the past, first dental visits didn't routinely occur until a child was about three and had all of his or her primary teeth. Today, earlier visits are the norm. In fact, children should visit the dentist within six months after the eruption of the first tooth or at one year of age at the latest, according to American Dental Association guidelines.
How can regular dental visits protect my child's teeth?
Visiting the dentist offers several important benefits, including:
Cavity Detection: Treating cavities is important, whether they occur in primary or secondary teeth. When your child makes regular visits to our Jonesboro office, we can detect tooth decay promptly. If you've been waiting for all of your child's teeth to erupt to make an appointment, tooth decay can cause significant damage to a tooth or even spread to other teeth while you wait. Losing a tooth due to decay, even if it's a primary tooth, can be a problem. Primary teeth are space holders for secondary teeth. If your child loses a tooth, other teeth may begin to drift, decreasing the space available for the eruption of the secondary tooth.
Fluoride and Sealant Treatments: During visits, we may recommend that your child receive fluoride or sealant treatment. Applying liquid fluoride to the teeth strengthens the tooth enamel, while sealants fill in little nooks and crannies in the pre-molars and molars. Both treatments help your children avoid cavities.
Less Dental Anxiety: A visit to a dental office can be a little scary for children, even if the staff are friendly and gentle. When your child begins visiting the dentist at a young age, he or she quickly becomes accustomed to the sights and sounds of the dental office and begins to form positive relationships with the staff.
It's never too late to begin dental visits for you child. If you would like to make an appointment, call our Jonesboro, AR, children's dentist, Dr. Gairhan, at (870) 931-1100.