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Features Health & Wellness Paying attention to kids’ oral health is the focus of Children’s Dental Health Month

February is national Children’s Dental Health month and it’s a good time to focus much needed attention on kids’ oral health.

“As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday,” says Dr. Scott Cashion, a Greensboro, N.C., pediatric dentist.

Even though this first visit is mostly for the dentist to examine a child’s mouth and check for growth and development, it’s also about the child being comfortable in the dentist’s office.

Dr. Cashion offers a few tips for this first visit:

  • Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested and cooperative.
  • Keep any anxiety or concerns you have to yourself. Children can pick up on your emotions, so emphasize the positive.
  • Never use a dental visit as a punishment or threat.
  • Never bribe your child.
  • Talk with your child about visiting the dentist.

At this first dental appointment, parents can expect the dentist to:

  • Check for oral injuries, cavities or other problems.
  • Let you know if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay.
  • Clean your child’s teeth and provide tips for daily care.
  • Discuss teething, pacifier use, or finger/thumb sucking habits.
  • Discuss treatment and schedule the next check-up.

The N.C. Dental Society represents 3,600 dentists throughout North Carolina. The NCDS encourages improvement of the oral health of the public, sustains high standards of professional competence and practice, and represents the interests of the members of the dental profession and the public which it serves.





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