It’s important to take your little one to a children’s dentist in Selden right after the first tooth emerges. This will allow the doctor to catch any potential problems early. It will also help your child to feel at ease in a dental setting. These are great ways to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Why Dental Care Should Start Early
Here’s why it’s important for your child’s first visit to a dentist in Selden to occur early in life:
- To catch potential problems as soon as possible: certain oral health conditions often start to reveal themselves soon after birth. Examples include jaw misalignment, insufficient enamel, and more serious concerns like mouth cancer.
- To create a record of your child’s oral profile: dentistry is a data-driven science. The more information your dentist has about your child’s health history, the more effectively he or she can treat whatever problems may arise.
- To accustom your child to the dental office: dental phobia is a serious condition that prevents millions of Americans from getting the care they need. The more familiar your child is with the dentist, the more at ease he or she will feel in the office environment.
Laying the Groundwork for a Lifetime of Good Dental Health
Seeing the dentist is only part of the picture. You should also teach and encourage your child to follow good habits like these:
- Regular brushing and flossing: ask your dentist to show you how to brush your child’s teeth yourself, even if only a single tooth has emerged. As your little one develops, he or she can gradually take over the task. As for flossing, most children are able to start this important habit on their own around age 10.
- Smart eating habits: cavity-causing bacteria thrive on sugar and simple starches. Teaching your children to limit their snack consumption is essential for their oral health. Fortunately, there are sugar-free versions of favorite treats like cookies, pie, and cake. You can buy them from your local grocer or learn to make them yourself. It’s also a good idea to steer your family towards healthy sweets like fresh fruit.
- Avoiding harmful substances: the most obvious example is tobacco, which can devastate a young person’s oral and overall health. There’s no reason for anyone, of any age, to take up smoking. You should also teach your kids about the dangers of illicit drugs and alcohol.
Teaching by Example is Essential
Telling your kids what they need to do is fine. But words alone can never take the place of a positive example. It’s up to you to model the right behaviors. One good idea is for the family to brush their teeth together at the same time in the evening.
The Final Word on the Subject
Nobody said parenting is easy. The rewards you’ll get in return though are more than worth the effort. In years to come, you’ll enjoy watching the seeds you plant today turn into a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums for your little ones.
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino is a skilled family dentist with the training and expertise needed to treat patients of all ages. He earned his DDS degree from the New York University College of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA). You can reach his office online or by calling (631) 698-9400.