When should your baby's first trip to the dentist be? How to prepare your baby for their first dental appointment? What to expect?
are many aspects of health that you need to be conscious of for your little
one. One thing that may not be on the forefront of your mind but that is
equally important to your baby’s overall health is their oral health and
hygiene. It’s vital that you start your
child off with good oral hygiene habits that will follow them through life.
An important part of this is taking your child to the dentist. Learn about good
oral hygiene habits for your baby as well as when you should start taking them
to the dentist so that you can ensure your baby the best start in all aspects
of their health.
Baby’s Oral Development
baby is different and when your baby begins getting their teeth may be sooner
or later than when other babies of the same age get their teeth. It’s normal for a baby to get their first
tooth sometime between 6 and 10 months of age. Some babies may get their
teeth much earlier around 3 months, while some may not get their first tooth
until around 1 year of age. Overtime, your baby will eventually have 20 baby
teeth. This usually occurs by the age of 3. Around 6 years of age, your child
will start to have their baby teeth replaced by adult teeth which will continue
to come in until early adulthood.
When to Take Your Baby to
Their First Dental Appointment
people seem to think that they can wait until their child gets all of their
baby teeth in before they need to worry about taking them to the dentist. This
isn’t best practice, however. Ideally, you should take your baby to the dentist
when their very first tooth erupts or
shortly after their first birthday – whichever comes first. Taking your
baby to the dentist sooner rather than later will help to ensure that you know
the best ways to care for your child’s teeth and will help prevent possible
problems in the future.
Preparing Your Baby for
Their First Dental Appointment
baby’s first dental appointment can be a little intimidating and scary – not
just for your baby, but for you as well.
It’s important to not let your little one think that you’re worried or that
there is any reason to be scared. There are some tips that will help make
your baby’s first dental visit go as smoothly as possible.
#1 Start Oral Hygiene Early
before your baby’s first tooth becomes visible, you can start getting your
child used to having their mouth messed with so that brushing their teeth and
dental visits will be easier. When your baby is only a couple months old, you
can begin wiping their gums down with a
#2 Begin Brushing Baby’s Teeth
as Soon as the First Tooth Erupts
soon as your baby’s very first tooth becomes visible, stop using the wash cloth
and begin actually brushing your baby’s teeth. Use a soft baby tooth brush and just water.Around a year and a half
of age, you can begin using a toothpaste with fluoride in it when you brush
your child’s teeth. With a gentle circular motion, go over all surfaces of your
#3 Limit Sugary Foods in Your
with added sugar should be limited in your child’s diet. Not only are they bad
for your child’s overall health but they
also greatly increase the chance of tooth decay. Try to only give your
child these types of food as treats and don’t include them as a regular part of
your child’s diet. Your baby does not
need fruit juices or sugary drinks either. Water is a wonderful drink to
give your little one rather than juices.
#4 Talk to Your Child About the
make your child’s first trip to the dentist a surprise. Talk to them about it
far in advance. Try to make it sound
exciting and like it’s something to look forward to. Your child’s
preconceived notions about the dentist will have a lot to do with how their
#5 Don’t Use Scary Terms or
Threats When Talking About the Dentist
Be mindful of the way you phrase
things when you’re talking about the dentist. Make things sound fun rather
than scary by talking about how your child gets to go for a fun ride on the
dentist’s chair, and how the dentist is a friend of the tooth fairy. Try to
avoid talking about things like shots or drills when talking to your child
about the dentist. You should also never threaten
your child with the dentist. For example, if you’re having trouble with
your child letting you brush their teeth, don’t tell them that if they don’t
let you that the dentist will pull their teeth out. These types of things can
make your child fearful of their visit with the dentist.
What to Expect at Your
Child’s First Dental Appointment
probably a little nervous about taking your child to the dentist for the first
time. You may be unsure of what to expect and you don’t know how your child is
going to react. It’s normal to feel this
way. Learning what you can expect from your child’s first dental
appointment can be helpful in calming your nerves.
#1 Oral Exam of Your Child
your child’s first visit to the dentist, the dentist will examine your child’s
mouth. They will look at your child’s gums and other soft tissue in the mouth
as well as their teeth. It’s likely that
you will be able to hold your child during this exam to help your child
remain calm and comfortable. The dentist may clean your child’s teeth and show
you how to do so at home as well. Keep in mind that your child may be fussy or
throw a fit. Don’t be embarrassed or worried if that’s the case. The dentist
and his or her staff are used to working with babies and
small children. They will be understanding and will do their best to keep your
child calm and happy.
#2 Discussion About Medical
like with your child’s doctor, your child’s dentist will want to take down a
complete medical history for your child. You’ll also need to fill out
paperwork. Ask about filling your
paperwork out ahead of time to possibly make the dental appointment go a
little quicker and smoother.
#3 Other Things the Dentist May
Discuss with You
addition to your child’s medical history, there are some other things that your
child’s dentist will likely want to discuss with you. They’ll probably talk to
you about what to expect regarding your child’s upcoming oral development, as
well as proper oral hygiene techniques
for your child. They may also talk to you about the following:
oral-related habits such as thumb-sucking or the use of a dummy
to protect your child’s mouth from injury
often to return for future visits
way your child’s teeth come together, also known as their bite.
eating habits for your child
to prevent tooth decay in your child
Continuing Good Oral Hygiene
important to remain vigilant when it comes to your child’s oral health. Start
good habits from the very beginning before your child ever even gets their
first tooth and continue them consistently throughout your little one’s
childhood. This will encourage them to
make life-long good oral hygiene habits. You’ll need to continue assisting
your child with brushing their teeth properly until at least age 7 or so. From
then, continue to check on how they are doing with it to make sure they don’t
start to slip up. They may be a little annoyed sometimes, but they will
definitely thank you one day.
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