As a parent, do you feel like your calendar and daily life is already quite full? In fact, between soccer practice and band booster meetings, do you feel like you’re barely able to catch your breath, much less to devise a dental care plan for the whole family? If your children are still young, you may sometimes even find yourself questioning whether or not they actually require dental care. The answer is yes, every child needs preventive dental care, just as every adult does. Fortunately, proper preventive care doesn’t have to be time consuming or costly, and it begins with some smart decisions you can make at home!
How Early Do Kids Need to See the Dentist?
After the age of one, children should begin seeing the dentist at least twice a year for preventive checkups and cleanings. That is because even baby teeth, and the gums, for that matter, are susceptible to dental problems including baby bottle tooth decay, which can pose a threat to your baby’s smile even before his or her first tooth erupts.
To prevent this, you can help by gently wiping the gums clean after feedings, with a clean and damp cloth. Then, once teeth begin erupting, you can gently brush them until your child develops the dexterity to brush himself or herself.
How Often Should They Visit for Cleanings?
Just like adults, most kids need to visit the dentist at least twice a year to adequately protect against cavities, gum disease, and other common oral health threats. That said, if your kids are prone to cavities, you may find that more frequent cleanings are the best way to protect their smiles.