Your child is going to be experiencing so many firsts from the moment they come into this world. They’ll roll over on their own, say “mama” or “dada,” take a bite of something solid, begin to walk — all for the first time at some point, usually within their first year. The best part is that you’ll be there for each of those moments!
As your child grows and develops, certain milestones require them to visit a professional. One of those things is when you should take your kids to the dentist for the first time. That little white tooth poking through their mouth is an indication that it’s time to schedule an appointment with their dentist.
The Very First Visit
It’s a huge milestone when your child gets their first tooth! They can start to eat some regular soft foods, and you can look in awe at their smiles that show maybe one or two teeth. The earlier you can get your child to the dentist, the better. Finding the best in family and cosmetic dentistry is so important if you are looking to bring your child to their first dentist appointment. They need to feel safe and happy in the care of your chosen dentist, and if you find one that will look after the whole family, you can all be seen at the same time. This will keep your children feeling at ease, and it’ll ensure that their first appointment is as stress free as possible!
By the time your child gets their first tooth, they will probably be around six months old. Before they hit one year old, take them to the dentist, even if they don’t have teeth by that time. Another suggestion is to take them to the dentist within six months after their first tooth comes through.
When you get your child in earlier for screening, the dentist can better evaluate their mouths and tooth structure and help prevent any serious dental issues.
What to Expect at Their First Dental Appointment
Before you head out the door for your child’s first dental appointment, there are a few things you should do. One of those is to prepare your child for the visit.
Try to schedule an appointment earlier in the morning. This is when children are at their freshest, and they are very alert. Towards the end of the day, children are more tired and may not cooperate very well during the visit.
It would help if you also prepared yourself and the dentist before the appointment. Your child cannot decide their feelings towards the dentist if they are only a year or so old. You need to be just as alert as your child and be honest about how you feel about the dentist. Staying calm during the visit will help keep your child calm, too. Tell your child’s dentist about their health history and behavior so they know how to handle your child.
During the first visit, you can expect the dentist to help your child feel comfortable being there. The visit may last around half of an hour. In that time, a hygienist will examine your child’s teeth and clean them. The hygienist will show you how you can best care for your child’s teeth at home, as well as go over any dietary needs to prevent tooth decay. Additionally, they’ll recommend products for you to use.
The dentist will then take time to look at your child’s teeth and mouth as well. They will be able to check for tooth decay, as well as let you know of any concerns for your child’s future dental development. While the dentist examines your child, feel free to ask any questions about your baby’s teeth.
Making Regular Appointments
After your child has their first dental checkup, you must schedule regular appointments. Children and even adults should be seeing the dentist as often as the dentist recommends or about every six months. Your child will continue to develop more teeth that your dentist will need to check for any issues or dental decay.
Your child’s primary teeth are important for many reasons, so it’s good to keep them as healthy as possible. Once your child begins to develop more teeth, the teeth will help them to chew foods properly so they can have proper nutrition as they grow up.
Additionally, primary teeth help your child speak. Without healthy teeth, your child may have speech development delays. These teeth also serve as a placeholder for their adult teeth. They make space in your child’s mouth for their future permanent teeth. Finally, having healthy primary teeth will promote your child’s confidence for a healthy smile so they can feel good about the way they look.
How to Care for Your Kids’ Teeth at Home
Before the teeth begin to come in, you can participate in your child’s dental health. Every day, you can clean your baby’s mouth with a clean, soft cloth. Dampen it a little and gently wipe your child’s gums. You can continue to do this once the first tooth starts to pop through.
Once there is an obvious tooth present, you can switch to a small, soft toothbrush to brush the teeth. You do not need to use toothpaste, but use a tiny dot of toothpaste if you do.
Try to avoid giving your child a bottle of milk or juice before they fall asleep, especially if you don’t clean their teeth right after that drink before they go to sleep. Leaving the sugar in their mouths as they sleep encourages bacteria growth which can cause cavities. Additionally, limit sugary foods as well.
Dental Hygiene Is Important
Your baby’s primary teeth will be with them for at least five years. Regularly keeping a check on your child’s teeth and dental health can help prevent any dental issues in the future. Keep their teeth clean for a healthy smile!