Your child should start seeing a dentist within 6 months of getting their first tooth or by their first birthday. After that, your child should continue seeing a pediatric dentist at least every 6 months for their routine teeth cleaning and oral examination.
It’s important that your child receive preventive dental care so they can maintain a healthy smile. Starting good dental habits now also sets the stage for them to enjoy a healthy smile as they grow older.
Here’s how your child benefits from seeing a pediatric dentist.
Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives inside your child’s mouth. This bacteria sticks to their teeth and gums, consuming any sugar left behind after meals. In return, it produces an acid that erodes their tooth enamel and attacks their gums.
If left untreated, plaque will harden into tartar. While your child can remove plaque at home by practicing good oral hygiene, only a dental professional will be able to remove tartar. That’s why it’s important that they see our pediatric dentist at least every 6 months.
There’s never a good time for a dental emergency. That’s why it’s important that your child keeps up on their preventive dental care.
During your child’s appointment, we’ll examine the inside of their mouth and take dental X-rays. This allows us to detect oral health issues before they have a chance to worsen.
For example, it’s much less invasive (and expensive) to treat a small cavity with a filling than a large cavity with a pediatric dental crown.
Scheduling your child’s teeth cleaning every 6 months is a good way to save money and pain in the long run.
Keep in mind that some patients may need to see our dentist more often than every 6 months. This may be the case if your child has health complications, such as gum disease, that our dentist needs to monitor and help prevent from worsening.
It’s much better for us to catch these types of issues early. That way, we can help you restore your child’s oral health as soon as possible.
Does your child have a dental restoration, such as a crown? If so, it’s important that they see our pediatric dentist on a regular basis.
During your child’s appointment, Dr. Kim will examine any dental restorations they have in their mouth. He may also recommend replacing any restorations that are old and worn.
Aren’t sure how to take care of your child’s smile? Dr. Kim and his team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. We want to make sure that you and your child feel confident while practicing good oral hygiene at home.
In general, we recommend that your child brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. They should also floss once a day to remove any plaque or food particles hiding between their teeth. Depending on how old your child is, you may need to help them with this or do it for them.
If your child still has a lot of plaque and tartar buildup during their next appointment, Dr. Kim may recommend that they also use a fluoride mouth rinse. Fluoride helps remineralize your child’s enamel so it’s more resistant to acid attacks from plaque.
During the appointment, we can also advise you and your child on the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
Dr. Kim is an experienced pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. He’s also a board-certified member of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. To schedule your child’s next appointment with us, call the Pediatric Dentistry of Michigan at (616) 447-7900. You may also fill out our online contact form.