Going to the dentist for the first time can be a scary experience for a young child. However, it is important to start your children on a dental hygiene schedule as soon as they begin cutting teeth. This includes annual visits to your local dentist and something to consider when choosing a dentist for your child, is whether or not they are a family one. A family dentist focuses on just that, the whole family. They specialize in both adult and pediatric oral care.
This not only will save you time-by taking your whole family to the same dentist, but can build a comfortable repertoire between you, your child, and the dental practitioner. This will make for any easy going experience throughout your child's dental hygiene life. It will also make appointments easier because he/she (the dentist) will already be aware of the child's and family history which can greatly affect dental health.
The first thing your family dentist is going to tell you in regard to your child's oral care is that brushing and flossing from an early age will build a lifelong proactive feeling towards dental hygiene for your child. And yes, your child is going to lose that first set of teeth but proper dental care of these will affect the health of their permanent set, as well as their mind set. Your child's first exam, barring any kind of unforeseen problem will be a simple checkup. Your family dentist will take an overall look at the health, strength and development of your child's teeth.
They are looking for clean teeth and gums, smooth enamel and no discoloration, as well as a straight smile. Teeth that are growing in crooked do not just affect a child's smile, it can also affect their bite, which can affect how they eat, and this could lead to malnutrition or problems with digestion. Your family dentist will be able to build upon future appointments and treatment from this initial visit. They will better be able to determine the best course for your child's dental future.
A family dentist will provide you with general dentistry care. This can include some cosmetic procedures such as fillings, caps, crowns, extraction and so on. If anything else is required such as orthodontics or oral surgery then they will refer you to a specialist. But for the most part, your family dentist will be able to cover all of your dental needs. Don't feel pressured however to take your child to your dentist. If the practitioner that you see fits your needs but not that of your child's then that is perfectly fine.
The thing to remember is a family dentist, one who offers pediatric care, will be the best possible choice for your child. This dentist will know what to expect when dealing with children and parents. He/she will also know the best ways to make it the best possible experience for both parent and child. As long as your child likes their dentist, is comfortable going, and you are pleased with the situation as well, then that is all that is needed.