Dr. Margaret Szott News and Blog
3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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Child in Dentist Chair

It is the start of a new year, and what better way to help your child build healthy habits than taking care of their teeth?  Although your little one’s primary teeth are temporary and will eventually be replaced by permanent, adult teeth, their baby teeth are essential for development and their lifelong oral health. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), it is very important to keep primary (or “baby”) teeth in place until they are lost naturally.  The primary teeth are significant for many reasons, including the following:

  • Helping children chew properly to maintain good nutrition
  • Involvement in speech development
  • Helping save space for permanent teeth
  • Promoting a healthy smile that helps children feel good about the way they look

Dr. Szott recommends to start bringing your child to the dentist at age 3, to help them feel comfortable.  Waiting longer for their first trip increases your child’s risk for having to deal with plaque buildup and cavities at their visit, and this might build fear in an already anxious child.   Starting early also gives the dentist an opportunity to spot issues sooner and take action to reduce the cost and severity of future treatments, which will make both parent and child a lot happier.   

To prepare your child for their first visit talk positively with them about what is going to happen and what to expect.  Reading children’s books or watching videos about their first visit may help your child be less fearful and more confident once they arrive.  Have them practice opening their mouth to get them ready for the dentist to count and check their teeth. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) provides the following tips for a great first visit:

  • Don’t schedule an appointment during naptime.  Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
  • Make sure your child has had a light meal before the appointment so they won’t be hungry during their visit.   
  • Have your child brush their teeth before their appointment to allow the dentist to assess their home care.
  • Save snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.
  • Think of the appointment as a happy and fun experience.   Children often feed off of their parent’s emotions.

Children’s teeth need the same basic care as adults.  Brushing twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental checks will have the most impact on a child’s smile.   Being proactive and establishing a relationship early alleviates their fear of the dentist and start to build those healthy habits that will keep them smiling for years to come. 

Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
Call us today to Schedule an Appointment: