Why Pediatric Dental Care is So Important

It’s easy to assume that you can hold off on scheduling your child’s first dental appointment until their adult teeth come in. But regular trips to the dentist are an essential part of protecting their oral health, from their temporary baby teeth to their permanent adult ones. To do that, you need to schedule a dental visit the moment you notice their first tooth coming in.

At Hudson River Dental Arts, Dr. Jennifer Sunkin and our team offer dedicated pediatric dental services that help parents in the Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey area ensure that their kids have a positive start in life when it comes to their oral health.

Here’s a look at why pediatric dental care is so essential, and how taking the right steps now can protect your child’s teeth well into adulthood. 

Why healthy baby teeth matter

It’s easy to consider baby teeth as disposable, especially since they’re only there for a few short years before your child’s adult — or secondary — teeth come in. However, those baby teeth are very important for several reasons. 

First, your child’s baby teeth help them learn how to chew and speak properly. But, beyond chewing and speaking, baby teeth also act as placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth, enabling these stronger, adult teeth to come in correctly.

How to protect baby teeth

From the moment your child’s first teeth come in, Dr. Sunkin jumps into action, helping these early teeth serve out their roles. One of our first lines of defense to protect these smaller, softer teeth is boosting their enamel. Enamel is the hard covering that protects a tooth. To give it extra strength, we coat it with fluoride varnishes. 

As soon as your child gets their first tooth, we start applying a varnish that helps protect the tooth from decay. This process is extremely quick and simple; we simply brush on the varnish, which is perfectly safe. As it hardens, it forms a protective layer over their teeth. 

We continue providing fluoride treatments for as long as your child has their baby teeth.

Preserving adult teeth for the future

Once your child’s first molars begin to come in, typically around six years of age, we want to get ahead of the tooth decay curve, so we apply a sealant to each new secondary tooth. Sealant is an easy step that reduces the risk of decay in your child’s new molars by up to 80%. 

Dental sealant creates a protective shield around the tooth, which prevents bacteria from making its way through. While people can have their teeth sealed at any age, you give your child the advantage of early protection that will serve them well into the future when you start as soon as their first permanent teeth come in.

The benefits that come with professional cleanings

It’s easy to assume that adults are the only ones who can benefit from regular professional dental cleanings. But, we like to start the process just as soon as your child’s first teeth come in to familiarize you both with good, pediatric dental care. During these early cleanings, Dr. Sunkin takes the time to show you how you can best clean your child’s teeth; and as they grow, we show them how to manage their own care, too.

As your child transitions from their baby teeth to their adult teeth, regular cleanings also allow us to stay on top of their dental health, watching for any potential problems and heading them off as early as possible.

Taking the right steps when your child’s teeth first start coming in can help set your child up for a bright future with a smile that will last a lifetime. To get started, contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 201-431-9682 or use the online scheduling tool. 

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