Most dentists recommend that babies should have their first visit to the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. After that, your child should see the dentist regularly, at least every six months.
Taking care of teeth from an early age is important for several reasons. Although you may hear some of your friends refer to children’s teeth as “training wheels” or a “practice run” for their adult teeth, this isn’t true. By the age of three, most children have a full set of twenty upper and lower teeth. These help children eat, learn how to speak and keep their jaws growing in a way that prepares them for their adult teeth to come in correctly. Even if these teeth will fall out, instilling proper hygiene habits in your children, including regular dentist visits, will make sure your child is prepared for the future. What to expect at your first dentist visit First and foremost, your dentist will check the teeth that your child already has to make sure there is no decay or other problems with them. Furthermore, he or she will check to be sure that your child’s teeth are coming in correctly. Any misalignment or other issue should be identified early so it can be dealt with efficiently. More than this, however, your dentist can explain how to best protect your child’s teeth. What kind of brushing techniques are best for your child and how to deal with any habits such as thumb sucking, for example, are essential knowledge for your child’s oral health. How to prepare for your visit Even in the first few days after your child’s birth, there’s a lot you can do to protect your child’s oral health. On average, children’s first teeth start erupting around six months. Before that, however, you should still gently clean your baby’s mouth with a moist washcloth to prevent any bacteria and other things from building up. You should be aware that erupting teeth can be uncomfortable for babies, so don’t be surprised if they’re a little cranky as it’s going on. Once your child’s teeth start erupting, they are vulnerable to cavities. Even before your first visit to the dentist, you should brush them gently but thoroughly, using a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste. Where can I go for great family dentistry? Forest Lawn Dental Centre has taken pride in helping the community of Calgary with all its family dentistry needs for the past eighteen years. If you or your family need more information about their baby’s teeth, contact us today so our friendly staff can help you make an appointment.