This is a guest post presented by Hess & VanLandSchloot Orthodontics.
When your kids are born, the hospital is amazing.
They give you this nice book filled with all the things you’d need to know as a parent. When to take your kid to the first doctor’s appointment. When your kid should go to the dentist the first time. What lullabies to sing. Sleepless nights, and so much more.
And if you believe anything I’ve just written, I have beach front property in Idaho that is perfect for you. Only $5.46! It’s a steal!
Seriously, as a new mom, you often feel clueless. I hope to help fill in the gaps with this post all about children’s dental health. I spoke with the doctors at Hess & VanLandSchoot Orthodontics to get answers to common questions moms have about when to take their child to their first dental visit, their first orthodontic check-up and tips and tricks to keep your kids smiling year-round.
Establishing a dental routine early in life, and sticking to it, is vital for a lifetime of smiles. You probably don’t remember when you first learned how to brush your teeth. That’s because proper hygiene starts when children are infants.
Ages to know
- First dental visit by first birthday. The American Dental Association recommends a parent bring their child to the dentist for their first dental checkup by their first birthday.
- First orthodontic checkup by age 7. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends their child have their first orthodontic visit by age 7. While treatment may not be necessary at this age, early detection of growth problems can make orthodontic treatment less invasive for your child and even save you money down the road. Visit Hess & VanLandSchoot Orthodontics to schedule a complimentary first visit for your child and find out about the optimal time to begin orthodontic treatment.
A healthy mouth helps children learn how to talk and eat food without problems. It also helps prevent cavities. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the number one chronic disease in early childhood is cavities. Cavities and other oral health problems are completely preventable when you establish a routine early in your child’s life.
Quick Tips for Great Oral Health
- Teach your child to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, followed by flossing.
- Keep a regular brushing routine. Hess & VanLandSchoot Orthodontics recommends brushing before school and right before bedtime.
- Use an hourglass as a timer. This is fun and helps your child visualize how much time remains.
- Experiment with different toothpastes and toothbrushes until you find the perfect combo to make brushing fun!
- Find kid friendly products from floss to musical toothbrushes to make brushing fun and less like a chore.
- Eat healthy and nutritious foods and limit the intake of sugary carbonated beverages.
There are lots of ways to fix certain bite issues early- especially if you take your child to see an orthodontist by age 7 or 8. Seeing an orthodontist early can mean less extensive orthodontic methods later, and ultimately save some green, too. (And who doesn’t want to save money?)
The orthodontists at Hess & VanLandSchloot Orthodontics offered these common tip-offs that it’s time for a child to have their first orthodontic visit.
9 Signs Your Child Needs to See an Orthodontist.
- Your child lost their baby teeth early;
- Your child lost their baby teeth late;
- Your child sometimes has difficulty chewing or biting into food (not their sibling);
- Your child is or was a finger sucker or a thumb sucker;
- Some of your child’s teeth seem a bit crowded or misplaced;
- Your child’s jaw shifts and makes sounds;
- Your child often bites their cheek or the roof of their mouth;
- Your child’s teeth meet abnormally or not at all; and
- Your child’s teeth are out of proportion to the rest of their face, either too large or too small.
If you answered yes to more than one of the statements above, consider reaching out to an orthodontist for an evaluation. The doctors at Hess & VanLandSchloot Orthodontics offer complimentary consultations in their offices located in Riverview, Lithia, Apollo Beach, and Parrish, Florida.
Seeing an orthodontist a few years early could give your child the early intervention they need to negate the necessity for braces later. Or, at the very least, shorten the timeframe in which they need to wear braces. And what teenager doesn’t want to shorten the time they’ll have to wear braces? (None that I know!)
So, grab your kids, buckle them into your 5-star safety rated car seat, and take them to their first dental visit and their first orthodontic visit early. Because what you can fix now will make tomorrow a lot easier. And less expensive.