Children should see a dentist at least twice each year for dental cleanings and checkups. Unfortunately, many children do not even see a dentist once per year. In some cases, dental care is not a priority for a family.

No matter the reason why a child hasn't been to the dentist, it is not too late to start building a healthy relationship with a pediatric dentist. Here's why now is the best time to start.

Your Child May Be in Pain

If a child has never been to the dentist, it is likely that they have at least a few cavities. As the cavities get worse, they will start to cause pain. The pain may be constant or only happen when pressure is put on the tooth, like when biting down.

When your child is in pain, they may not be able to express what hurts. They may also not be able to perform in their regular activities, like going to school or playing sports.

Your Child Could Face Other Health Risks

Untreated cavities can also lead to infections. If the infection is severe enough, it can spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. If your child has expressed pain, the infection could already be settling in.

Your Child May Have Trouble Eating

If a child has cavities or other dental problems, they may have trouble eating. This is because chewing can be very painful. Eating may be painful, so your child may not get the nutrition they need. This can lead to weight loss and other problems associated with malnutrition.

Your Child May Have Self-Esteem Issues

When a child is ashamed of their smile, it can lead to low self-esteem. Your child may not want to interact with others or may avoid social situations altogether. This can have a lasting impact on your child's life.

Your Child May Fear the Dentist

If a child has never been to the dentist, they may be afraid of going. This is because they do not know what to expect. The fear of the unknown can be crippling for some children.

The good news is that there are ways to ease your child's fears. You can start by finding a pediatric dentist that you trust. You should also take the time to explain what the dentist will do. It is important that your child knows that the dentist is there to help.

To make a dental appointment for your child, contact a pediatric dental clinic, such as Yongsok Do, DMD, LLC/ DBA Keiki Dental.