As a parent, you likely celebrated when you saw your child’s first baby tooth emerge. While that gummy little grin is all it takes to make you smile, you might also not know that seeing a first tooth is a sure sign that it is time to start visiting the dentist. Ideally, all children should see a dentist by the time they are one year old. Delaying dental visits can quickly lead to issues such as pain or swelling in the mouth that requires a trip to the children’s hospital. If it has been awhile since your child went to the dentist, then here’s several good reasons to make that appointment today.

Prevent Long-Lasting Dental Anxiety

Young children are at an age where they tend to respond to new situations with varying reactions. As a general rule, children who visit the dentist when they don’t have any problems yet are more likely to stay calm when they do need treatment. During those early checkups, dentists take the time to make checkups fun. They’ll play counting games as they check your child’s teeth for cavities and even let them hold a stuffed animal or your hand for comfort.

Identify and Treat Early Tooth Decay

Approximately, one out of every five children between the ages of five to eleven has at least one cavity that has not yet been treated. You can’t always see early cavities with the naked eye, which is why dentists use special tools and equipment to find them. Treating a baby tooth helps it to stay in place so that the adult teeth come in appropriately.

Plan Cleanings to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease isn’t just a problem that plagues older adults. Your child is also susceptible to swelling, inflamed gums that may also bleed. At a dental clinic in NY, your child can receive gentle teeth cleanings that reach the parts of the teeth below the gums where you can’t reach with the toothbrush. Preventing gum disease now can prevent tooth loss in the future.

Find Out About Future Orthodontic Needs

Parents often think that braces are for teenagers, and it is true that this is when most kids get the bulk of their orthodontic treatment. However, your dentist can start cluing you in to whether or not your child’s looking at a need for braces or a retainer. This information can help you plan for your child’s future needs, and some children can even start their first phase of treatment around the age of seven to streamline the process of straightening their teeth.

Look for Bite and Speech Issues

A bad bite can change your child’s appearance, and it can even affect their ability to speak normally. Some children also have a tongue tie, which is hard for a non-professional to diagnose. Your child’s dentist will look for oral health issues that could affect their future development. If there is an issue, then they can recommend treatments or refer you to a speech therapist who can help your child avoid developmental delays.

Get Help Refining Their Oral Hygiene Routine at Home

You should be flossing your child’s teeth by the time they are around two to six years old. By the time they are 10, they could even be doing it on their own. Dentists often help coach parents and their children on how to do this effectively. They can also help your child learn how to brush all of the different surfaces on their teeth. Having a dentist provide you with guidance in the early years and back up the importance of toothbrushing makes life easier when you have to tell your child to brush their teeth at home.

Help Them Build a Strong Relationship With Their Dentist

Eventually, your child will grow up and have to handle this aspect of their oral health alone. For now, you can look up a good dentist on and help them start learning how to have a strong relationship with their oral health care provider. Dentists often encourage children to talk to them about their oral health care needs from an early age. While you’ll be invited to fill in the information, teaching your child how to communicate well now means that they’ll be ready to talk about more serious oral health care issues with their dentist in the future.

Your child’s adorable smile deserves all of the best care in the world. Starting their dental care now helps them to be more comfortable with caring for their teeth as they get older. A child’s dental checkup typically takes less than an hour once or twice a year. Carving out this small amount of time in your schedule can lead to your child enjoying good oral health that lasts a lifetime.