A child’s first year is so exciting; full of milestones, new experiences, and even some confusion. There are so many items new parents need to make decisions on such as immunizations, choosing a pediatrician, breastfeeding or formula. Another decision that needs to be made is related to when your child should see the dentist for the first time.
It has been recommended that children should visit the dentist for the first time within 6 months of their first tooth emerging or by their first birthday. Early dental visits can decrease dental problems later on. Also, as many adults can agree with dental visits can cause anxiety; early exposure can create an increased comfort level for children. We see children and families of all ages at Smile Advantage.
When it comes to scheduling your infant with a dentist, it is important to verify if they see children in the office. If not, your child’s pediatrician will be able to assist you in finding a pediatric dentist in your area. Make sure you have added your infant to your dental plan to avoid any added expenses.
Once your child has their first tooth it will be very important to practice excellent oral care. Their “baby” teeth are extremely important, they assist them to speak clearly and chew efficiently, but they also guide a path for the permanent teeth to follow. You can start with a wet washcloth rubbing the front and back to remove any build-up. Once their tooth as erupted fully or they have several teeth you can start using an infant toothbrush with a rice size amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth at least once per day. It is important to establish a routine with your infant with you doing the initial brushing to ensure their teeth are clean, but then allowing them to practice brushing their teeth will help their dental practices in the future.
Most dental offices have infant-safe toothbrushes they can give you, they are typically rounded to ensure the child does not choke on the toothbrush. It is important once your child is mobile to ensure they are seated when they brush their teeth to prevent injury.
Once your child has had their first dental visit it will be important to establish a routine for dental care for your child. It is recommended for the child to visit the dentist every 6 months for routine exams and care. Following proper dental care along with a well-balanced diet and limited amounts of candy or soda will help your child have a healthy smile for years to come. What does a family dentist really do?