As your child’s teeth begin to pop in one by one, you may start to wonder at what point you should bring your child to the pediatric dentist. Is it too early for them to go as an infant? Should you bring them as a toddler? Is pediatric dentistry appropriate before age 3?
Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas is the area’s premiere pediatric dentist. We have a great deal of experience in pediatric dentistry with children before age 3. If you’re wondering when you should schedule your child’s first consultation, there are several issues you should consider. Before your child’s first trip to the pediatric dentist, you need to ensure that you’ve been diligent at home to take care of their teeth and gums.
Baby Oral Care
Many parents think that there’s no need to consider baby oral care since their child doesn’t have any teeth. That’s simply not the case! Any time after your child drinks milk or formula, clean their gums with a damp cloth or gauze. This will ensure that bacteria is washed away from the mouth. Of course, make sure you don’t use any toothpaste to clean a baby’s mouth; warm water will do just fine.
Cleaning your little one’s gums is important because it can help reduce the risk of infection in the mouth of the child. Additionally, if a child is breastfed, it can also lessen the odds of passing an infection along to mom as well.
Toddler Oral Care
Once your child has their first tooth pop out, it’s time to begin proper tooth brushing to avoid tooth decay. Purchase a small baby toothbrush as well as toothpaste appropriate for young children. At first, you’ll need to do the brushing yourself, taking two minutes twice a day to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Don’t overdo it with toothpaste—a small amount the size of a pea is sufficient. Over time, you can start to train your child to brush on their own, but make sure you follow up when they’re done, because they’re sure to miss some spots!
To reinforce to a toddler that tooth brushing is important, make it a fun time. Sing a song to them, watch a silly video, or read a book to help them pass the time. If brushing time is a fun time for toddlers, you can reduce the odds that they’ll resist you when it’s time to brush teeth.
When To Call The Pediatric Dentist
As you care for your child’s teeth at home, you’ll recognize the need to find a pediatric dentist for your child. However, you may wonder what age is best to start pediatric dentistry.
Before age 3, your child’s mouth will undergo a transformation as teeth begin to erupt from the gums. In all, your child will have 20 primary teeth make their appearance anywhere from approximately 4 to 12 months. With baby teeth arriving so quickly, you can see why it’s important to schedule your child’s first dentist visit well before age 3.
Pediatric dentistry should start as soon as their first tooth erupts. To wait until your child is older may not seem harmful, but your child’s oral development a great disservice by putting their first appointment.
What To Look For In A Pediatric Dentist
Now that you know that pediatric dentistry is appropriate well before 3, you may wonder how to find the best pediatric dentist for your child. Sure, you can search online for dentists in your area, but you’ll likely be inundated with a list of dentists and unsure which one is actually the best.
When you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist, “good enough” isn’t good enough. You want the best you can find. Here are some helpful tips to mull over when trying to find a superior dentist for your precious child.
- Avoid “kid-friendly” dentists: At first blush, a kid-friendly dentist sounds like the perfect choice for a child. However, know that there’s a big difference between a pediatric dentist and a self proclaimed kid-friendly one. Pediatric dentists have taken an additional two to three years of schooling after graduating from dental school. Pediatric dentists limit their practices to children. There’s no such training and limitations for “kid-friendly” dentists, making pediatric dentistry for kids (especially before 3) the unquestionable choice.
- Ask friends and family: The best recommendation for a dentist that you can get is not one from an online rating site, but rather from a trusted friend or family member. If they have children, then they have a pediatric dentist too. Ask them for their opinion, and you’ll find they can quickly help you narrow your search.
- Call the office: If you have questions, particularly about finances, consider calling the office ahead of time and talking to a receptionist. Ask if the office accepts your dental insurance. Also, find out if they offer any promotions or special discounts. These answers will also help you zero in on the best office.
- Visit the office: Stop by the office and take a look at the lobby. Is it warm and welcoming to little children? Will your child feel comfortable visiting? Let the staff know that you’ve stopped by, and you may also get a moment to meet with a pediatric dentist or hygienist who can answer any lingering questions or concerns.
Pediatric Dentistry Before 3 At Children’s Dentistry
If you live in the Las Vegas area, the choice for a pediatric dentist is simple: choose Children’s Dentistry. We have 10 convenient offices in the metro area, and we’re currently accepting new patients. Our office loves treating all children, but we especially love little ones! You can trust the experienced staff at Children’s Dentistry to care for your child’s oral health and overall well being.
Pediatric dentistry before age 3? Absolutely! Don’t wait another day; contact Children’s Dentistry today to schedule your little one’s consultation.