Maintaining a healthy smile throughout adulthood begins with learning the right oral hygiene habits during childhood. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended that children visit the dentist for their first checkup when their first tooth emerges and come in for routine cleanings every six months thereafter. While these frequent visits may seem premature, regular visits ensure that your child receives proactive preventive treatments such as sealants and fluoride rinses.
These routine appointments also provide the dentist with the opportunity to consistently monitor your child’s smile as it transitions from no teeth to baby teeth and finally to an adult dentition. By taking in-depth x-rays of your child’s dentition during these biannual visits, the dentist is able to identify and correct potential issues before they significantly impact the child’s long-term oral health. In Fredericksburg, family dentist Dr. Andrew Stewart works closely with other area specialists to develop comprehensive treatment plans for addressing these conditions and maintaining a healthy smile.
Preparing for Your Child’s Next Dental Appointment
A fundamental part of ensuring effective children’s dental care is providing a safe, friendly environment where children of all ages can feel comfortable receiving care. Positive dental experiences not only help facilitate successful dental care now, but also help to prevent patients from developing dental anxiety or phobia in the future, further encouraging healthy lifelong smiles.
Whether it’s your child’s first visit to a dentist, or their first experience with a new dentist, there are also several steps parents can take at home to help facilitate a positive dental experience. Some helpful tips include:
– Positive language: Children learn the most from their surroundings. If dental care is associated with negative connotations or used as a threat, young patients may become scared of visiting the dentist, putting them at risk of poor oral hygiene habits in the future. Reinforcing good oral hygiene with positive language or normalizing visits to the dentist can eliminate the risk of developing anxieties about the dentist.
– Schedule dental visits around your child: Cooperation is critical to a positive dental experience, particularly for younger children. Bring your child in for a check-up at a time when they are well-rested and cooperative. This can ensure limit any fidgeting that may prolong their dental visit or make it more difficult for the dentist to check your child’s smile.
– Talk to your child: While most initial dental visits often begin with a check-up, many children often have no idea what to expect. Going over what will happen during the appointment prior to visiting the dentist’s office can eliminate unexpected surprises, as well as provide your child with the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.
Schedule Your Child’s Next Visit Today
At Fredericksburg Dental Center, our team is dedicated to providing lasting care for patients of all ages. We welcome families to bring in their children for routine check-ups and preventive pediatric dentistry. To learn more about our available children’s dental treatments, contact Dr. Stewart and Dr. Martel today.
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