Raising a child comes with a seemingly infinite amount of responsibility. There’s no end to the things you have to do and keep track of in order to help your child grow to their fullest potential. One of these important steps involves getting your child set up with a pediatric dentist, to better ensure their overall health. This is one of the most important appointments you can make, and helping your child develop healthy dental habits is crucial to their growing up as a whole.
Figuring out when to make that first dentist appointment, when to start brushing teeth, and how to handle various dental situations (such as that hit from a baseball that resulted in a few less teeth than they had before) are all essential pieces of knowledge to have. The pediatric dentists at Treasured Teeth would be more than happy to share some wisdom and know-how with you, and help you and your family have healthy dental habits to smile about. Learn everything you need to know about having a pediatric dentist, and schedule your appointment with Treasured Teeth today! Serving Montrose, Thornton, and Reunion, you’re sure to get the dental services your child needs, in a location most convenient for you.
Pediatric Dental Timeline
As Delta Dental states, “Most American children don’t see their family dentist until they are well over 2 years old, far later than is recommended by both dental and medical professionals.” But when exactly is the right time to take your child into the dentist? When should tooth brushing and flossing start taking place? Take a look at our Treasured Teeth timeline for pediatric dental health.
Birth to Six Months
It may seem surprising, but once your baby is born is when you can start dental health habits. Even before teething, babies should have their gums cared for—and this should happen right away. WebMD recommends taking a soft, moist washcloth and gently wiping down your infant’s gums two times a day (the same frequency of brushing teeth). Although teeth aren’t showing, bacteria can stick to gums and cause damage to teeth as they start to come in. This can be prevented through proper gum care.
This is about the time your baby’s first tooth breaks through the gums. WebMD explains that the first two teeth to break through are usually the bottom two front teeth. Even though six months old is a guideline, your child’s first tooth showing can take more or less time. In fact, girls tend to get their teeth in earlier than boys.
Once your child shows their first tooth, you should make a dental appointment with Treasured Teeth. The American Dental Association recommends the first visit to the pediatric dentist occurring no later than age one or two at the latest.
Additionally, having a tooth show means it’s time to start brushing. It might seem silly, especially since these are baby teeth, but these teeth still play an important role as placeholders for adult teeth. You can use a little bit of toothpaste, but no more than about the size of a grain of rice.
Two Years Old
Between two and three years of age, most (if not all) of your child’s teeth will have come in. As soon as your child can hold a toothbrush, this is a time to start teaching them to brush teeth on their own. They will likely lack the fine motor skills needed for optimal brushing, but it’s still a great start, and can help them start developing these skills for later.
At this point, this is the time to ensure your child is making routine visits to the pediatric dentist. Twice a year, about six months apart is the recommended number of visits, though this may increase if they need additional work done.
Three Years Old
Most toddlers will be getting closer to brushing their teeth independently, although they might still require some assistance. Once your child is three, you can increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste to a pea-sized amount.
Four Years Old
Just after your child turns four, their jaw and facial bones will grow significantly. This helps create more room for permanent teeth to make their appearance later on. Four years old might be right around the time when your child loses their first tooth. There tends to be a range of when this happens, but anywhere from 4-7 years old is when children start losing their baby teeth.
Six to 12 Years Old
This period of time is when your child will lose all their baby teeth and grow in their permanent set. As children enter adolescence, this is often when dentists and orthodontists recommend getting braces, which straighten the alignment of permanent teeth.
By age six, your child should be fully independent in brushing their teeth. This doesn’t mean they won’t need reminders, and of course, certain developmental or physical delays may prevent this from happening. As a general rule, six is the time that children should know the importance of brushing teeth, understand why they need to do it, and already have had enough practice to take this responsibility on for themselves.
The Importance of Early Visits
People often wonder why they would take their child into the pediatric dentist at such a young age. After all, with only one tooth (and especially since it’s a temporary tooth to begin with), why would you need to visit the pediatric dentists at Treasured Teeth? Dentists and other experts agree that these initial (and consistent) visits are crucial to helping your child develop healthy habits, for multiple reasons:
A baby will likely have very little trouble opening their mouth for a dentist to take a look, and just as likely won’t have any anxiety or fear for visiting the dentist. Putting off dental appointments until they grow older means not only a lack of familiarity with the dentist, but a lack of familiarity with certain dental procedures that are essential for health. Getting a proper cleaning, flossing, x-rays, fluoride treatments, and more are all critical for dental health, and are less scary when kids recognize them as a part of life.
Dentists are trained and experienced in noticing any potential problems that could arise. By visiting a dentist regularly—and early on—you’re taking crucial steps in preventative care for your child. Instead of finding out about a dental issue when it’s too late (and often, significantly more expensive), you could address a concern before it even happens. Receiving professional medical advice and insight is critical for helping your child preserve their dental health.
While not always the case, many times we raise our children in similar manners to how we were raised. The foods we ate, the beverages we drank growing up, everything from little habits to lifestyles can be imparted on our own kids. As time goes on and medical developments improve, we might learn new information or techniques that can serve as a better practice for raising our kids. Visiting the pediatric dentist is a great resource, not only for your child, but for you as a parent or guardian. You can receive vital advice and guidance to help you best raise your child.
The pediatric dentist might be seen as an obligatory appointment, but at Treasured Teeth, we firmly believe in forming a partnership with our families. Is your five-year-old refusing to brush their teeth? Are you wanting to make sure your child eats better than you did, but aren’t sure how to do so? Bring up these concerns with the pediatric dentists at Treasured Teeth!
Healthy Habits and Tips
There is a horrible trend happening in the dental world, particularly among school-aged children. Families are avoiding visiting the dentist due to fear of expenses and rising costs, and as such, children are suffering. In fact, Frontline reports that “One in four children have untreated tooth decay, now the most common chronic illness among school-aged children.”
There are a number of things to do (and things to avoid) to ensure that your child is getting the best in dental health. Take a look at some of the healthy habits and tips to implement as routine with your family—the results will be something to smile about.
Make brushing and flossing routine.
Even when children have a mouth full of baby teeth, it’s not only healthy for them to take care of their gums and developing teeth, but it builds this as a routine. Kids should be brushing their teeth twice a day, once in the morning, and once before bed, and flossing should be added to a nighttime routine as well. Flossing is essential for getting rid of plaque buildup, especially in places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush alone.
As kids are growing into their fine motor skills, they might struggle with flossing and proper brushing techniques. Make brushing fun by playing a 30-second song clip to keep kids brushing for the correct amount of time, and you can also pick up kid’s flossing sticks which are easier to manage and control.
Avoid sugary drinks.
We think “sugary drink” and we usually instantly picture soda bottles with colorful and expressive labels. What we might not think of are the juices or other beverages with “fruit” in the title that seem like they must be healthy.
These drinks can be a treat, but juice and soda are unbelievably high in sugar, and wreak havoc on your child’s teeth (and yours as well). Make sure your family sticks with water—though milk for younger children is also fine—and after any sugary beverage is consumed, follow up with a sip of water if you can to rinse away some of the bacteria.
Schedule routine trips to the pediatric dentist!
Not only is this important in their early childhood, this is essential throughout your child’s entire life. As we covered previously, this helps dentists diagnose any existing issues with your child’s dental health, and can ensure problems get treated in a timely and professional manner. Considering we offer dental sealants, dental cleanings, and a variety of other dental services, we can help your family feel healthy and happy with their smile.
Choose Treasured Teeth
Your pediatric dentist plays an important role in your child’s dental health, as well as overall health. With a role of this caliber, it’s necessary to have a dentist who can provide the best care possible for your child. Take a look at just some of the benefits that come from working with Treasured Teeth in Colorado!
A pirate ship in the middle of a dentist’s office? That kids can play on? That’s Treasured Teeth, and that’s why kids and families love coming to our dental clinic. The pirate theme is beloved by all who enter, and we’d reckon we’re the only dental office where kids leave, asking “when can we come back?” as they walk out the door. Our environment works to alleviate the stress and anxiety that can come from visiting the dentist. Families in the Thornton, Montrose, and Reunion area have known for years that Treasured Teeth is the place to go for a trip to the dentist that feels more like a trip.
From sedation dentistry to lap exams to general anesthesia and everything in between, we have the services needed to make your child as comfortable as possible. Plus, Dr. Tippets is known throughout the area for sensational pediatric dental services. Dr. Tippets, plus the dental clinic team, are highly experienced and trained in working with children, making us the pediatric dentist of choice. Our focus and specialty is solely devoted to working with children, meaning we have insight and knowledge that other clinics simply can’t offer.
After bills and groceries and rent and mortgages, a trip to the dentist can seem like another expense that makes you shudder. We are so committed to working with all families who need dental care, which is why we accept Medicaid and CHP+. Getting the best in dental health shouldn’t be an expendable item on your list of priorities. We believe dental health is a right, not a privilege, and will work with your family to make dental health happen.
Your child’s smile is something you treasure, which is why your family deserves to work with Treasured Teeth. Whether you’re in Reunion, Montrose, or Thornton, our pediatric dentist is ready to serve your family. For better health, better dental practices, and a better dental experience as a whole, schedule an appointment today with our pediatric dentist! We’d be honored to work with you.RIC