A common misconception is that children must visit the dentist less often than adults because “adult teeth are more important and we will have them the rest of our lives.” While the second bit is true, the first bit isn’t as true as you’d think.
The way the “baby teeth” grow, the speed at which they grow, and how they look as they’re growing in often indicate whether or not the child has sufficient at-home dental practice, adequate nutrition, and ideal distribution of the body’s calcium, protein, and other important nutrients we get from food.
Technically speaking, the frequency in which a child needs to visit a dentist varies from child to child, but a good rule of thumb is that once all the teeth are grown in, a child should see their primary dentist at least two times a year but three or four times would be ideal.
Why So Often?
Some of this is a mental thing. First and foremost, visiting the dentist often as a child will lay the ground rules (hopefully) of how the child will care for their teeth for the rest of their lives. We are far enough along the evolutionary chain that we can safely think of our baby teeth as practice for when we get the real deal we have for the rest of our lives.
Practicing good dental hygiene on the baby’s teeth tends to instill a good foundation for tooth and mouth care for the rest of our lives, so more frequent dental trips can help encourage that behavior. As we all know, children are less likely to listen to their parents and can find a dentist a bit more intimidating – and believable!
Don’t worry. We make it a point to limit how intimidating it is for the children that visit our pediatric dentistry team. We pride ourselves on providing a relaxed and happy place to visit for children of all ages. Children need to know they’re listened to and feel a level of personal choice and engagement with their dentist. We let children choose various things throughout the different processes to help encourage a trusting relationship that will grow into positive, life-long dental care.
The better and more scientific, medically relevant reason for the increased frequency of visits is that a dentist can identify potential problems with the unseen adult teeth as they form under the gumline. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everybody had perfectly ideal and straight teeth?
The truth is, only about 15 to 20% of people grow to be so lucky. Most of us either deal with the hand that we’ve been given the best as we can or were fortunate enough to have had issues identified and rectified by leveraging dentists and orthodontists, and their practices, alike.
From the moment your child starts to cut teeth, you should be in contact with a good children’s dentistry office. Savannah Dental Solutions have the skill and personality to help you and your child through the difficult and important formative years of teething. Call us at (912) 354-1366 or fill out our online form to book your child’s first dentist appointment today!