This post has been sponsored by myKIDSdds. All opinions are 100% our own.
With all the appointments required in a child’s first year, one that seems easy to forget is the first dentist appointment!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends seeing a dentist for the first time at the eruption of the first tooth or around one year old, whichever comes first.
You may be thinking, “Yes, yes, but is that really necessary? I mean, they have one tooth for pete’s sake.”
Here’s why the first visit is so important:
• The earlier a child comes in, the more likely you’ll be able to catch things like a lip/tongue tie or airway issues, both of which can be life-altering.
Let me share this fascinating example about airway issues that I learned from talking with myKIDSdds. (They are so nice and knowledgeable, by the way. You and your kids will be completely at ease.)
Take the connection between ADD/ADHD and Sleep Disordered Breathing, for example. Studies are showing that there is no difference in the symptoms of a child with SDB and a child with ADD/ADHD. It can be said (and is currently being studied) that ADD/ADHD is the result of SDB. Now, take into consideration that the main cause of SDB is a blocked or compromised airway and that a compromised airway is often caused by an underdeveloped palate, cross bites, deep bites, crowding and other malocclusions – all things that can be identified at a young age by a pediatric dentist. Early identification and treatment can reduce or eliminate SDB symptoms all together.
Our mouths involve so much more than just our teeth. I think that’s something we forget or don’t consider sometimes. Here’s another important bit:
Proper growth and development of the mouth plays a huge role in how well a child can breathe (and therefore sleep). A restricted tongue or tongue tie can keep the tongue from properly resting at the top of the mouth which compromises palatal development, which can negatively impact the functionality of the airway, breastfeeding, speech, eating, food cleansing, etc.
• Early dentist visits also introduce your child to the dental setting with a pleasant experience rather than rushing in because of an emergency or with pain from a cavity. The last thing you want is for kids to associate the dentist with pain and fear. MyKIDSdds appointments are informative and preventative. They are all about prevention over there. It’s key! And ultimately saves us money.
And why a pediatric dentist, specifically?
Distinct from a general dentist, a pediatric dentist spends extra years in training on the development of a child’s mouth. They focus on establishing a fun, safe environment and a good rapport with children. This way kids can look forward to their visits instead of dreading them. And that sets families up for a lifetime of success in their dental health.
Y’all, the myKIDSdds website is so comprehensive and informative. I almost insist that you head over there and poke around. There’s a really, really good FAQ. And here’s a rundown of their services for kids.
Before we go, what about orthodontics?
It’s not like it used to be when we were kids. They start earlier now! It helps to get in front of potential problems before they become too severe. Starting earlier can make treatment shorter and less complicated. Here’s the guideline:
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends having an orthodontic evaluation when the upper and lower front four permanent teeth have erupted. The average age this occurs is seven. This does not mean your child will need orthodontic treatment at this age.