At Painfree Dentistry we offer anticipatory guidance. This is focuses on providing parents with information on their child’s dental health at different stages of life. Changes in physical, emotional and psychological health are monitored and significant changes are called milestones. With this guidance parents will expect what changes will occur in each milestone and will know how to identify what their child needs. It is a framework that allows both dentists and parents to work together to give a child the best dental health.
Why is This Guidance Offered?
Every parent will have been through a situation where they aren’t sure of the right decision. This can be in any scenario from what is the best food to what is the best dental treatment. We are here to help make the right decisions so your child can have the best dental health. Children do not come with instructions so it is always a good thing to have guidance. In dentistry parents might not know what is normal and what isn’t or may not know that an issue could present itself in the future. That is why it is important to meet with a dentist so any health problems can be prevented and treated.
What Age Should Your Child See the Dentist?
It is recommended that your child begins having their dental health assessed at around six to twelve months. However, this may have to be a referral as many dentists do not accept children at this young age. Ideally your child will be monitored but they can also begin visiting the dentist at age one. This is the time when some, maybe one or two teeth have erupted. It is ideal to receive advice about preventative treatment to stop dental diseases from occurring. You will be given information on bacteria, oral hygiene and more.
What Milestones Are Used in Anticipatory Guidance?
6-12 Months Milestone – Eruption of the First Primary Tooth
At this milestone dentists will be looking at your child’s oral development. This will include the pattern of tooth eruption and dentists will also talk about teething. Dentists will also start to look at fluoride. They will check the fluoride status and dentists will also determine if any fluoride supplements are needed. Oral health will be discussed and this includes how you brush your child’s teeth. Techniques will be given to make this process easier. You will be asked questions about the use of a pacifier and other habits such as thumb sucking. Some advice will also be given on nutrition and sugar consumption.
12-24 Months Milestones – Arch Length Determined, Completion of Primary Dentition and Occlusal Relationships Established
To start with the dentist will look at oral development. During this, space maintenance and bruxing will be discussed. Fluoride status for this age will also be reassessed. Advice on toxicity and accidental ingestion will be given because of the age group. A review of oral hygiene will take place which will include what toothbrush is used and how. Nutrition will be talked about as this will have changed, carbohydrates being the main topic. Injury prevention such as child proofing your house and oral trauma management for preschool will be discussed.
2-6 Years Milestones – Loss of Primary Teeth and Eruption of First Permanent Teeth
Patterns of tooth eruption will be the one of the first things looked at for this milestone. Dentists will describe how healthy gum tissues should look. The fluoride will be reassessed. Another review of your child’s toothbrush and how it is used will take place. If your child still has habits like thumb sucking, advice will be given on how to stop it. Nutritional advice for when your child is away from home can be given as well as other food issues such as behaviour. The risk of injury has increased so helmets, mouth guards, oral trauma advice and more will be discussed.
Anticipatory guidance is a great way for you and the dentist to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. You can discuss any concerns and help prevent dental complications. Together we can ensure your child receives the best dental care. Contact the friendly team to find our more today.