Airport Road Dental Associates - 3465 Airport Road, Portage, Indiana 46368 - (219) 763-2727

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Posts for: August, 2022

Why It's Important to Start Dental Care Early for Children

Children should visit a dentist within the first six months after their first tooth erupts, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Many parents don't realize the importance of taking their children to the dentist at such an early age. They may think that as long as their child brushes and flosses regularly, they don't need to see a dentist. However, there are many benefits to taking your child to the dentist early on.

Instill Healthy Habits

The first tooth in your child is prone to cavities. Once your child has a cavity, it's more likely that they will get cavities in their other teeth. Therefore, you need to take your child to the dentist early to learn how to care for their teeth properly. Some of the things your child will learn include:

  • How to properly brush their teeth
  • How to floss correctly
  • What foods can damage their teeth
  • How to make dental habits fun

Once your child learns these healthy habits, they're more likely to continue them into adulthood.

Ease Dental Anxiety

According to a study in the Journal of Dental Hygiene, 50% to 80% of adult Americans have some form of dental anxiety. Up to 15% of these Americans avoid going to the dentist entirely because of this anxiety. This fear of the dentist often starts in childhood. If your child has a negative experience at the dentist, they're more likely to be afraid of going to the dentist as an adult.

However, if you take your child to the dentist early and often, they'll become more comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist. Some techniques that can help ease your child's dental anxiety include:

  • Choosing a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is a dentist who has gone through extra training to work with children. They're more likely to be patient and understanding of your child's fear.
  • Using positive reinforcement. Try to praise your child when they cooperate with the dentist. You can also give them a small reward after their appointment.
  • Distracting your child. Bring a toy or book for your child to focus on during their appointment. You can also ask the dentist to explain what they're doing as they do it.

These techniques will decrease the chance that your child develops a lasting fear of the dentist.

Detect Oral Health Issues Early

Oral health problems often don't show any symptoms in their early stages. As a result, it may be hard to tell if your child has a problem.

However, if you take your child to the dentist regularly, the dentist can detect these problems early. Early detection allows for early treatment, which is often more effective than treating the problem later on. Some common oral health issues in children include:

  • Tooth decay. The cause of tooth decay is bacteria in the mouth. It can lead to pain, infections, and tooth loss.
  • Gum disease. Gum disease develops due to an infection of the gums. Its symptoms are redness, swelling, and bleeding. If not treated in good time, gum disease can damage the bones that support the teeth.
  • Oral thrush. Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth. It can cause white patches on the tongue and inside of the cheeks.
  • Cavities. Cavities are holes in the teeth that result from excessive tooth decay. They can cause pain, infections, and tooth loss.
  • Thumb sucking. Thumb sucking can cause misaligned teeth and an overbite.

All of these issues can have a negative impact on your child’s future oral health if you do not address them promptly.

Take Your Child to the Dentist Today

If you haven't started taking your child to the dentist yet, now is a great time to begin. Your child will grow up with perfect teeth and a healthy smile.

Look no further than Airport Road Dental Associates if you need a child's dentist in Valparaiso and Chesterton. We've been providing personalized care to our patients since 1972. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child.