One of the most exciting moments in a new parent’s life is when their beloved little one gets their very first tooth. As children age, they experience the excitement of losing their baby teeth – a sure sign that they’re becoming “big kids” and a chance for a visit from the Tooth Fairy as well!
Children learn good dental health habits from their parents. As your child grows, it’s important to introduce them to a family dentist who can help them learn good preventative care, spot potential problems, and perform needed fixes. Here’s what to consider when looking for dental care for you and your children.
- “First visit by first birthday.”
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that children have their first dental visit by age 1, according to Colgate. Scheduling a visit six months after the baby’s first tooth appears can help parents plan.
While this number can seem surprising, it’s important to remember that 25% of U.S. children have their first cavity by age 4 – and some kids develop cavities by age 2. Starting early not only helps you address potential problems, it also helps kids learn that going to the dentist is a normal part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Look for a welcoming atmosphere.
The best family dentists strive for a family atmosphere in their offices. Before you bring your child to an appointment, Working Mother recommends that parents stop by the office for a visit. Is the waiting room kid-friendly, with books or toys? How do staff talk to children or comfort those who are crying or afraid? How many children do staff work with every week?
- Ask about payment options.
Many families struggle with dental insurance or finding ways to pay for dental care, but good dental care in early childhood is essential for a healthy future. You can help address this problem by asking potential family dentists about their pricing and the options they offer for payment. Many offices are willing to work with families who want what is best for their children.
While it’s important to keep payment in mind, remember that the best dentist for your child may not be the cheapest. Choosing a dentist with experience in pediatric care and who works hard to keep your children feeling comfortable will do much to help your kids learn and practice good oral health habits throughout their lives.
- Your family dentist should help you learn, too.
Most parents already know the basics of maintaining their own dental health. Since babies and children have differing needs as they grow, however, your family dentist can become a valuable source of information to help you help your children.
Choose a family dentist who can provide information on:
- Tooth and mouth care for babies and toddlers
- How to use fluoride safely
- Information on finger and thumb sucking
- Help preventing accidents or injuries that could injure the face or teeth
- What to expect as your child grows
- How to plan a nutritious diet for oral health
The goal of Dr. Jason Dittberner and his staff is to provide your entire family with the best possible dental care. That’s why we not only focus on using proven tools and techniques, we also work hard to treat all of our patients like family. To learn more about the care we provide, call our office today at 928-733-7900.