When Should I Bring my Child to the Dentist?

First time parents are new at everything. Changing diapers, nighttime feedings, baths and everything else is challenging for new parents. However, as time passes new parents begin to feel they are getting the hang of things, and they may sit back and give a sigh of relief. Then teething starts and little teeth start to erupt from those sore, drooling gums. Now your little one has teeth, and you will be asking the next big parenting question. When should I bring my child to the dentist? Let’s look at some information on baby teeth and going to the dentist.

When Should I Bring my Child to the Dentist?

Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are important to babies and toddlers because they help children learn to eat and talk properly. They also hold the space in the mouth and the jaw for the permanent teeth that will show up around six or seven years old. As parents you must learn to take care of those little teeth. This starts your child off with good oral hygiene habits that will follow him all his life. Even before teeth become apparent, it is a good idea to gently clean the gums with a soft, damp cloth a couple of times per day. After the first tooth comes in, purchase a small children’s toothbrush and some “practice toothpaste.” This is toothpaste without fluoride. Do not use fluoride toothpaste until the child can spit out unused paste. Brush your baby or toddler’s teeth at least once a day before bed. One benefit of early oral practices is that your child will be used to cleaning his teeth as he gets older, and it won’t be such a terrifying experience when they do visit a dentist.

Visiting the Dentist

Visiting the dentist can be fun for your young toddler or baby. They have no preconceived notions about the dentist. If you are nervous at dental appointment time, try your best not to convey this to your child. Babies should have their first dental visit around one year of age. Some experts recommend setting up the first appointment as soon as that first tooth arrives. Regardless, by one they should visit the dentist. However, if you notice any discoloration or other problems before the age of one go ahead and set up an appointment immediately. For the first few visits, the dentist will just look at your baby’s teeth and discuss with you proper techniques and expectation for oral health care. They may examine the mouth to assure everything is growing properly. This is really a time for you and your child to build a relationship with the dentist for long term oral health care.

Setting up a relationship with a dentist and learning to care for your baby’s teeth is an important step in assuring a lifetime of good teeth and a winning smile for your child! When I should bring my child to the dentist is the first question to ask after your baby gets teeth.

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