Why Should You Take Your 1 Year Old to a Pediatric Dentist? [Updated for 2021]

A baby looking out from under a white towel

“People always ask me why a one-year-old would need to go to the pediatric dentist,” says Dr. Nanna Ariaban, a board-certified pediatric dental specialist.

Some general pediatricians advise parents to start taking their children to a pediatric dentist around ages three or four. While we are happy that pediatricians recommend parents take their children to a pediatric dentist, it is actually essential for parents to establish a good relationship between their kids and a dental specialist at a younger age.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a dental home is an ongoing relationship between a patient and dentist. It is a place where the patient and parent receive comprehensive dental care and education on their child’s oral health. The one-year dental visit is mostly educational and helps ensure that parents learn the tools they need to take care of their child’s teeth.

How A Pediatric Dentist Helps Your Child’s Dental Health

The number of cavities found on three or four-year-olds is staggering. Our national Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that 45.8% of all young Americans between ages 2 and 19 have either treated or untreated caries.

The worst part is that, in most cases, this tooth decay could have been prevented if the parent had some proper guidance regarding diet and oral hygiene instructions for their infants and toddlers. The importance of establishing a dental home for an infant has several benefits.

One great benefit of establishing a dental home at an early age is that your infant will trust their dentist and dental team at an early age and feel comfortable with someone else looking inside their mouths.

The benefits are undeniable. Should your child need any dental treatment as a toddler, their familiarity with a pediatric dentist will help decrease dental anxiety.

They learn and understand early on that going to the dentist is not necessarily a bad place per most people’s perception. It is a place where they can have fun with the staff, get shiny teeth, receive a free toothbrush, and win a prize afterward.

Proper Nutrition Guidance

Having a dental home for your infant is very beneficial for first-time mothers. Typically, pediatric dentists will go over what foods are healthy for their child’s teeth, the effects of constant exposure to juice, gummy snacks, putting a child to sleep with milk in their bottle, and other nutritional information.

Many new parents may not be aware of how quickly a child can develop baby bottle decay. We can help discuss ways to prevent baby dental decay from happening or show parents the signs of possible cavities developing on their child’s teeth.

Keep in mind that your child’s primary or baby teeth are more susceptible to attacks by harmful bacteria. The enamel protective layers are not as resilient as in permanent teeth, and unlike adults, infants cannot rely on fluoride toothpaste to reinforce their teeth’ natural defenses.

Tooth decay onsets much more quickly at a young age. The harmful bacteria feeding off food particles and sugary remains stuck in your kid’s mouth can easily erode primary teeth’ enamel.

You can always consult with a pediatric dentist about proper hygiene techniques. Speaking of which…

Dental Hygiene Supervision

We educate parents on the importance of their child’s oral hygiene and how it is very important to participate in their child’s daily brushing routine. It’s so easy to forget small details like cleaning your child’s tongue or cleaning their tiny teeth with a finger toothbrush, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

We provide techniques for the best ways to brush and view their infant’s and toddler’s teeth. We understand that it can sometimes be challenging to brush a child’s teeth, especially when they are not cooperative, but we can help develop strategies to make it fun for them as well!

Sometimes, all that’s needed is for the family to come together during tooth brushing time.

We also help parents introduce fluoridated toothpaste to their child’s oral hygiene routine when the time is right. You can expect your child’s pediatric dentist to explain the importance of fluoride exposure and how it can help prevent cavities from developing.

Pediatric Dentistry Means Proper Care

Pediatric dentists have finished dental school and continued to pursue additional training to help young patients overcome their fears and achieve a healthy smile as soon as possible. Providing proper care for children is not the same as an adult dental checkup.

Help from a Pediatric Dentist

Children have specific needs, and they need a welcoming environment. Specialists like us focus on these services. It’s not just about looking at your kid’s teeth, it’s about crafting an inviting experience that makes them feel safe during their dental checkup.

Make sure you set an appointment or a visit with a specialist who knows how to help younger patients.

A Pediatric Dentist Helps Oversee Proper Dental Development

A good pediatric dentist can show you a baby teeth eruption chart to track your child’s growth and assess their gum health. There are many measures you and your dentist can take to ensure your baby’s dental health later on.

In addition to discussing all the tips above, we advise parents on oral habits, such as the effects of long-term thumb sucking or sucking on a pacifier. We help guide parents on the best ways to wean their child off their habit, which will help decrease their child’s chances of developing orthodontic problems in the future.

We would strongly recommend you take your child to the dentist before their first birthday to ensure their gums and teeth grow properly. At Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, our Johns Creek pediatric dentist will treat your child with care and make sure you know the best way to take care of your child’s teeth. You can contact your trusted Pediatric Dentist in Roswell to schedule your child’s first dental appointment.

Go to a pediatric dentist office of your choice and help your kid receive all the benefits of years of training to make them feel comfortable during the treatment and get the oral health care they deserve.

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