As a parent, you want the best for your child, and that includes ensuring they have a strong, healthy smile and a place they can feel comfortable and safe while treating that smile. If you want your child knowing they will have a friendly dental team that their whole family treats with, bring your family to Peter Family & Cosmetic Dentistry!
At Peter Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide comprehensive children’s dental care in Independence, aimed at promoting a lifetime of healthy smiles from infancy through young adulthood. We are experienced in working with young children and teens to make going to the dentist easier for everyone by creating a one-stop shop for the whole family.
Our dentist, Dr. Jeffrey D. Peter, is experienced in children’s dentistry and understands the importance of establishing a good oral hygiene regimen early in a child’s life. He strives to make every dental visit pleasant, comfortable, and stress-free for your child.
When Should Children Start Seeing a Dentist?
While there is no definitive age for when a child should start seeing the dentist, a common rule of thumb is the earlier a child starts visiting the dentist, the better their oral health will be in the long run and the less risk they have of developing dental anxiety.
We tend to start seeing children at the dentist once they get their first tooth or are about to, to keep their oral health strong right off the bat.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends scheduling a child’s first dental exam after the first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. After your child’s first dental visit, you should schedule regular dental exams every six months. We may recommend more frequent appointments if there are issues or extra care is needed.
Benefits of Regular Visits to your Child’s Dentist
In addition to making sure your child is receiving proper dental hygiene like brushing twice daily and flossing, you need to bring your child in for regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist’s office because it is essential for their long-term oral health. Benefits include:
- Preventive oral care: Routine exams will enable our team to catch and treat any issues as soon as they pop up, plus our hygienists can remove all harmful plaque from their teeth, mainly targeting those areas they can’t clean at home.
- Habit counseling: We also use these appointments to teach proper tooth brushing and flossing. This helps to build your child’s dental hygiene habits that they’ll carry for a lifetime. This will ultimately make your job easier because they will be excited about cleaning their teeth and know how to do it properly.
- Getting accustomed to dentist visits: Regular dental visits allow your children to get used to the dentist’s office and the procedures that happen there, so they can learn what to expect. This can help them grow to feel comfortable going to these appointments every year.
- Feeling comfortable in the dentist office: Nearly 60% of adults have anxiety about going to the dentist, which can adversely affect their oral health. Early visits with a consistent dental team can help prevent children from having fear and anxiety around the dentist as they grow. It can especially help kids see their siblings and parents also receiving dental care from the same trusted providers.
When it comes to your child and their oral health, you want to take great care of them, seeing a family centered dentist from an early age is an excellent way to do that.
What Happens at Your Children’s Dentist Appointment?
At your child’s dental appointment, they will receive a warm welcome from our friendly team members. Here’s what you can expect:
- Professional teeth cleaning: Using specialized instruments, we will gently remove plaque or tartar on your child’s teeth, clean all sides of every tooth, and floss and polish each tooth. Even with proper at-home brushing this buildup is difficult to remove and requires dental instruments and expertise.
- X-rays and exam: We will also screen your child’s mouth for tooth decay and gum disease as well as placement and bite issues. Depending on your child’s age, oral health, and risk of disease, we may take x-rays of their mouth. This helps us see detailed images of specific sections of the mouth to help diagnose problems not visible during the dental exam. X-rays aren’t needed at every dental visit.
These x-rays can prevent other issues like misalignment and tooth loss from occurring because we are able to catch it early on and get a treatment plan started.
- Additional treatments: such as fluoride or dental sealants as recommended. Depending on whether or not your child has frequent cavities or other dental problems, we may recommend fluoride treatment to strengthen your child’s enamel, or dental sealants to prevent cavities.
All of these steps are designed to prepare your child for success in the oral health department and help them stay smiling and pain-free for life!
How Can You Prepare for Your Child’s Dentist Appointment?
The dental office can be daunting for a child, but you can help prepare them for the visit by maintaining a positive attitude. Remember that children can pick up on your emotions, so if you feel anxious about this appointment, then your child might too.
You can also come in for a pre-appointment meeting so your child can familiarize themselves with the office and staff. One of the easiest ways to make a child feel excited instead of dreading going to the dentist is to make a day of it! Whether that is bringing a toy to the office or playing in our kiddie corner, have something for them to look forward to.
If they have siblings or friends that go to that dentist office, remind them of that and bring your other kids for an appointment at the same time so they can feel like a big kid just like their sibling. Don’t worry too much about the visit—our team at Peter Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety surrounding children’s dentistry.
Children’s Dental Care Cost
Dental benefits typically cover the cost of your child’s dental care. If you do not have dental benefits, or if we recommend any treatment above and beyond your benefits, our excellent team will make sure to discuss everything with you (including all costs) prior to performing any treatment.
We have payment plans available if needed, but when it comes to your family’s oral health it can save you time, money, and pain to get the treatment you need before it gets worse. If you have questions about your dental benefits coverage, please contact our office.
Contact Us for Children’s Dental Care at Peter Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
At Peter Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are a kid-friendly practice committed to providing the highest quality children’s dental care.
Our dentist, Jeffrey D. Peter, DMD, and our compassionate dental team provide personal and positive interactions with our young patients, teaching them how to perform daily hygiene practices, help develop understanding and excitement for regular checkups and find age-appropriate ways to encourage healthy habits at home.
If you are looking for a family-friendly dentistry that fulfills all your dental needs, Peter Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is the place for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!