I'm very happy to welcome Dr. Ken Crossman and Hampton Park Dental Centre to our blog as a featured sponsor! I can't count the number of times I've heard fellow parents worried about dental care for their young children - there are so many questions, and a great kid-friendly dentist can really make a difference. Hampton Park Dental Centre is located at Carling and Kirkwood just off the 417 - a convenient location for any area of Ottawa!
It used to be common practice for children to have their first dental visit at age 3. But the American and Canadian Dental Associations are now recommending that children be seen as soon as their first teeth erupt (usually around 6 months). This first visit is to check to make sure that the teeth are erupting normally and that parents are aware of how best to care for the dental needs of their child.
Proper dental care at an early age can prevent the need for more extensive dental care when the child is older. Some of the issues that arise in infancy that may effect later dental development are:
- Thumb or finger sucking: can lead to the development of an underbite or overbite which results in the need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
- Proper brushing techniques and care of primary dentition: brushing the teeth of a toddler and baby can be challenging, and parents sometimes need guidance!
- Nursing bottle syndrome: caused when a child is given a bottle before bed. The pooling of the liquid in the infants mouth can result in decay in primary teeth. There are alternatives available and strategies to help wean children from bedtime feedings.
By starting visits to the dentist early, the child sees the dental office as a fun place to visit where they get a new toothbrush and a toy. If your child starts life with good oral hygiene habits from the beginning they will have fewer dental problems in the future.