We know that caring for your children’s health is a top priority, including the health of their teeth and gums. Finding the right pediatric dentist is a big decision一hopefully, they’ll be taking care of your child (or children) for many years to come and throughout a particularly active period for dental growth. So how do you know when to see a pediatric dentist for your child? And how do you find the right one in the Asheville area?
First, let’s breakdown the responsibilities of a pediatric dentist. Like pediatricians, pediatric dentists work exclusively with children. They are the primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children up to adolescence. To be able to take care of your child’s teeth, pediatric dentists must attend an additional two to three years of training after they complete their dentistry degree. There is a lot of hard work, dedication, and learning that goes into taking care of little teeth!
The First Visit To Your Pediatric Dentist
Most experts agree that parents should take their children to a pediatric dentist around the appearance of the first tooth, no later than one or two years old. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first visit really isn’t for the dentist to do any work, it’s more an opportunity to introduce your child to the doctor and their office. This allows your young one to explore some instruments around the practice and sit in the chair. Once he or she has become more comfortable, the dentist can take a peek inside their mouth and get an idea of what’s going on in there.
This initial visits accomplishes three things: it establishes trust between your dentist and your child (and yourself), which is very important as your baby grows and will require more treatment. It also introduces you and your child to the language that the office uses. Most pediatric dental practices will have their own terms for common dental tools that make them more friendly and easier to understand.
Additionally, the dentist can do a quick examination and check your child for tooth decay. Your pediatric dentist will also check on your child’s jaw, gums, and bite, keeping an eye out for possible complications that could develop later.
At the end of the visit, your dentist will talk to you about good oral hygiene practices for the little one, as well as answering any questions you may have. They may even offer your child a goodie bag for being so brave! We love giving kids a little something extra for coming in to see us.
Routine Visits to the Dentist Moving Forward
After you’ve taken your child to their very first pediatric dental appointment, you’ll want to make sure to come in for regular appointments every six months. Since childhood is such a big period of growth for teeth, it’s important that they are checked on regularly. This also gives your pediatric dentist the opportunity to check for red flags, like misalignment from extensive thumbsucking and white spots or discoloration on the surface of the teeth.
Picking The Right Pediatric Dentist in Asheville
Finding the right pediatric dentist is half the battle, but for anyone living in the Asheville area, we have good news: we are a family dental practice and have pediatric dentists who are currently taking new patients!
Most children are at least a little apprehensive about visiting the dentist. That’s why it’s so important to find a pediatric dentist who’s willing to have fun. Their job is to take care of babies and children, so a sense of humor kind of goes with the territory. Seeing a dentist who’s able to have fun will make a world of difference when you’re going to appointments. This is important to remember as a parent as well. Your child will be able to sense any tension or stress you have while taking them to the dentist’s office, and may interpret that as fear. Try to have fun with them as much as you can! This takes the dread out of the dental process. Visits to the dentist’s office doesn’t need to be like pulling teeth!
If you or someone you know is in need of a new pediatric dentist, get in touch with us and schedule an appointment– here’s some more information for our new patients! Rebol Family Dentistry is committed to providing the best care possible for the families of Asheville.