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Who doesn't remember the day your child's first tooth poked out of his mouth? It was an exciting day for me, even though it may seem silly. My little girl was getting older! Of course, after the euphoria of the beginning came the doubts. Did I have to make an appointment with the dentist? How should he care and watch that tooth? What would come next? And after those questions, others came. If you are about to go through that moment, take note of the 14 questions to ask your dentist on your child's first visit
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends taking your child to the dentist for the first time at the age of 1 year, or within six months of finally getting the first tooth. So it seems like we need to start planning that first visit sooner than many parents think.
There are many questions that you will have in your head but others that, as a new father and mother, you may have missed. Since I have already been through that, I want to share with you my doubts and what my child dentist told me.
First, it should be noted that the most recommended would be to visit a pediatric dentist and not an adult one because the former have specialized training for two to three years after dental school and limit their practice to treating children only.
Pediatric dentists specialize in infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. In addition, pediatric dentists generally have their rooms and offices adapted to children so that this first visit is much more pleasant for them.
This point is very important because if you use too much toothpaste, your child could develop a condition called fluorosis; But if you use too little, then your enamel weakens.
Children's teeth come in at different times. However, if your child still has baby teeth after age 9, then it is worth getting an X-ray to see if there are adult teeth under the gums.
Flossing is only effective when there are no visible gaps between children's teeth and this may be at different times, depending on the child, so it is worth asking a pediatric dentist when the child should start using dental floss.
Many children (and adults, too, let's face it) have a hard time flossing. Either due to lack of time or because it causes them some discomfort to be digging between the molars, that is why it should be noted that there are alternatives such as water pipes or interdental brushes.
Thumb sucking and pacifier use can lead to crooked teeth. The dentist must assess the extent of the problem and what damage it can cause to the palate, the bite or the child's own teeth.
X-rays are often not taken until age 5 unless there is a cavity or trauma. X-rays help to visualize parts of the teeth that cannot be seen clinically. When the patient is older, the X-rays that are done are to check dental development and to help in the diagnosis of the appropriate time to be evaluated by an orthodontist. However, that is generally not until age 7, as recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists.
For children under 3 years of age, only a rice-sized amount of toothpaste is recommended. The amount of fluoride in young children is limited to minimize ingestion. Too much fluoride ingested can cause dental fluorosis, a mottled appearance in adult enamel.
Fluoride mouthwash helps protect the part of your teeth that can be difficult to clean with just the bristles of your toothbrush. Some children have clenched overlapping teeth or wear braces. Fluoride mouthwash is recommended for children who already know how to rinse and spit on their own, which is generally around the age of 5 to 6, that is, later than when children start using fluoride toothpaste.
Shark teeth is the term used when adult teeth grow in before the baby teeth fall out. Sometimes the roots of baby teeth do not dissolve or the position of the newly erupted adult tooth is not directly below the baby tooth, which it is supposed to replace. Once the excess retained baby tooth is lost or extracted, the position of the adult tooth is evaluated. Treatment is often not needed and the adult tooth is set in the correct position. However, sometimes orthodontic intervention is needed to correct its position.
People fall into bad habits when brushing their teeth, and it is that certain areas of the mouth are often lost when brushing. This can be detected by a dentist, so it is worth asking if the child has any of these 'blind spots' and thus changes the way he brushes his teeth.
If a child has a broken tooth, a visit is recommended to assess the severity of the fracture. Sometimes the rough edge needs to be filed or it may need to be repaired or glued, and sometimes, no treatment is needed. If it is a large fracture and the nerve is damaged, the tooth may need to be removed. Treatment also depends on the type of tooth (molar versus incisor and baby versus adult), the age of the patient and the severity / depth of the blow.
You can read more articles similar to 12 questions to ask your dentist on your child's first visit, in the On-Site Dental Care category.