Dental health begins at a very young age. Many dental problems that require costly treatment in adulthood could have been prevented at an early age with routine pediatric dentist visits.
Over half of all children at the age of 12 need some sort of orthodontic or dental treatment. However, because the body, muscles, joints, and face grow surprisingly fast at a young age, it's important to take your child to a pediatric dentist as soon as possible (usually around the first birthday) to diagnose and prevent complications.
Caring For Your Child's First (Primary) Teeth
Caring for the first teeth your child has (primary teeth) is important - they may fall out around the age of 6, but preventing premature primary tooth loss will prevent your child's permanent teeth from growing in crooked. For premature primary tooth loss, we may utilize a maintainer to help your child's teeth grow in straight.
Likewise, having healthy primary teeth also benefits your child in their speech development skills. With a malformed set of teeth, the child may have difficulty forming certain words, sounds and pronunciations. This may not correct itself without speech therapy. Remember, a growing child is a sponge, and many behaviors - including speech - are becoming concrete.
Early Jaw Development
Jaw development happens early. A malformed jaw can be corrected quite easy at a young age within around 7 to 9 months. However, this corrective treatment takes significantly longer the older your child is. A professional children's dentist will assess the jaw structure of your child and inform you whether or not their jaw development is healthy or abnormal.
Creating Positive First Dental Experiences
A young child is typically more cooperative going to the dentist than an older child. By rewarding your child(ren) for good behavior at the dentist, you'll encourage a positive outlook during their experience. For example, the promise of ice cream after a dentist visit will usually win their favor. Teenagers, on the other hand, aren't so easily bargained with. Children with a lot of experience going to the dentist in their early years are more likely to be in favor of routine dental visits in the following teenage years.