When should I schedule my childs first trip to the dentist?
Kids run play, play, shout, learn, and fill our lives with joy. We all love kids but sometimes any parent will tell you trying to remember everything is an uphill battle especially when it’s a toddler bounding around the house.
The feeling you get when seeing their adorable smile is precious and it’s really important that we keep that smile healthy for years to come. So how do we make sure those pearly whites stay in tip top shape!
- As soon as teeth start coming in it’s important to start brushing them. Pharmacies and supermarkets will have non-fluoridated toothpaste. You can use your finger or an extra soft toothbrush to brush the teeth. The reason for the non-fluoridated toothpaste is that toddlers like to suck on anything in their mouths and we don't want them to swallow the toothpaste. When they get older they’ll be able to spit out and rinse just like grown ups. For kids under 2 use a small “smear” of toothpaste. Between the ages of 2-5 you can use a peasized amount. Usually an adult will need to help the child up until the age of 5 with brushing and flossing.
- Make sure to plan an appointment with a dentist. The first visit is always an introductory visit and usually a ride in the chair and playing with Mr. Thirsty – our suction tip. After seeing literally thousands of kids I can’t tell you how important it is for kids to be exposed to a dental office at an early age so they begin to feel comfortable and alleviate any fears they might have as they get older. Their first visit will be as much fun as going to the amusement park or visiting their aunt since it’s a new experience for them. Remember they will look to you to see how they should feel, so don’t let any inhibitions you may have show and they will love coming to the dentist.
- Make sure the child gets a toy from office – kids seem to like toys.
When should I take my child to the dentist? The first visit should be within the first 6 months of teeth coming in or between 12-18 months.
Why so early? Because I’ve seen kids as early as 2 years old have multiple cavities in their teeth, as soon as they come in they are susceptible to the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
What things will be looked at in the first visit? We’ll look at the gums, the bite and check for cavities. If the child is doing well in their appointment we may polish the teeth and apply a topical fluoride to reduce their risk of future cavities.
Why are baby teeth important? They help kids speak clearly and chew naturally. They are also placeholders for when permanent teeth come in.
So what do we get when we do everything right? A happy child who seems to grow faster and faster every day...Back to all articles