Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Children's Dental Health Month

February is Children's Dental Health Month and its a great time to get the word out there as to why seeing a dentist is so important at an early age.  Both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend a child see a dentist by their first birthday.  There are many reasons for this but here is one that many parents don't think of until it happens.  Typically, a child's first tooth comes in around 7 months.  This is also the time when children start crawling and practicing on those two feet.  That means lots of falls.  If you're a parent, you remember those first shaky steps.  It's exciting and fun but you feel like you need to follow them around constantly!

Now picture your family playing in the yard.  Your toddler goes to take a step onto the pavement and trips and falls.  There is some blood in their mouth and you start panicking (I remember my son getting his new teeth and bouncing them off of the garage floor on his first birthday when his new walking skills were not quite keeping up with his brain's enthusiasm!)  You notice that there are a couple of holes in your child's lips and the two front teeth are broken!!  Your child stops crying and you get the bleeding under control.  Now what do you do?

This is a situation we see ALL the time, and one where most parents are relieved to have a dental home to come to.  Your child is familiar with the office and knows the familiar faces they will see.  Their first visit to a dentist isn't one after a trauma which eases everyone's anxiety.  Even better, you are comfortable with the dentist and your dentist is comfortable with your child.  We have already gone through the initial paperwork and medical history so there are minimal administrative steps to complete.  We will have already examined your child's teeth so we know what their status was before this little mishap.

This is just one of many situations where you will be happy to have established a dental home for your child.  The age one visit typically consists of an exam and Fluoride treatment as well as a lot of talking.  We teach you how to care for those pearly whites and what you can expect during teething and development.  We also talk about habits your child may have and oral hygiene recommendations.  (We have lots of tips to make brushing easier!!!)