Are you the parent of one or more preschool-aged children? Have you taken your young child or children to see a dentist yet? Good dental habits start early, even before any teeth actually come in. If you are confused about why you should take your child to the dentist before they have any teeth, here are some important reasons that you should do so:
First baby teeth: The vast majority of children have their baby teeth come in without any problems. But every so often, these first teeth simply refuse to emerge properly. Partof family dentistry for very young dental patients is identifying possible teething issues before they begin. For instance, it's possible for your child's gums to contain more teeth than usual. This can cause crowding and may even result in two teeth growing together and structurally becoming one tooth. In order to allow your child's other teeth to emerge properly, your child's dentist may need to remove an offending tooth so that the others have sufficient room. Without this intervention, your child's teething can be more prolonged and painful than usual. Some teeth may even refuse to emerge due to crowding.
Pacifiers: If your child uses a pacifier or some other type of soother, this is no guarantee that he or she will have bad teeth. However, another part of family dentistry for young patients is to keep an eye on things like this. Just as braces use pressure to straighten teeth, the pressure caused by the use of soothers could have an adverse effect on the straightness of your child's teeth. This can be a bigger issue for some children than for others. Your child's dentist will monitor his or her mouth to look for signs that this may be a concern and work with you to take steps to correct the teeth before they actually cause adverse effects.
Cavities: Although it's not common for very young children to get cavities, it can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, baby teeth can be thinner than usual. Sometimes, it can be the result of diet. And then there are times when it's hard to say exactly what caused cavities in the first place. Teaching your child how to brush his or her teeth as soon as the teeth appear is a good preventative measure. But for full protection, you'll want to take your child to the dentist on a regular basis so that his or her teeth can be monitored for cavities.