It’s never too early to begin proper dental care practices for your child. In fact, your child should be taken to the dentist as soon as his or her first tooth emerges or when your child reaches one year of age. Along with having the dentist inspect to be sure that your baby’s development is properly on track, it’s a great time to get advice from the dentist regarding feeding practices, baby bottle tooth decay, teething, brushing and mouth cleansing practices, the proper use of a pacifier, and what to do about finger sucking.
Preparing for the First Dental Appointment
Preparing your child to see his or her family dentist is extremely important. Emphasize the fact that your dentist is friendly, highly skilled, and wants the best for each patient. There is a common misconception that dentists and other oral care providers cause pain. In truth, a competent dentist or care professional should relieve pain and improve any situation that is causing any patient, especially a child, dental discomfort. Assure your child that the dentist will let you be there with him or her during the examination and that the hygienist and the dentist will be gentle and kind.
What the First Dental Appointment Is Like
The dentist will examine your child’s gums, jaws, teeth, and bite according to your child’s development. Taking x-rays is not common for young children since baby teeth eventually fall out, but your dentist will let you know if x-rays are necessary at the time of the dental appointment. Normally the first x-rays are taken at our office when your child is around age 5. Your child’s teeth may also be gently cleaned and polished. Your dentist will also take this opportunity to advise you about proper preventative child dental care and recommend that you bring your child back every six months for a checkup.
A Child’s Dental Health
If your child is an infant, proper dental care consists of wiping your child’s gums with a soft washcloth to remove bacteria. As the teeth emerge, brush them twice a day with very small amounts (the size of a grain of rice or smaller) of toothpaste containing fluoride. As your child grows older, encourage him or her to brush twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste. If your child’s teeth touch, begin teaching your child to use dental floss to remove bits of food and bacteria. As with adults, take your child to see the dentist every six months.
Asante Dental Care Centre has experienced dentists that provide family dentistry in addition to cosmetic and general dentistry. Contact us today to schedule a dental appointment for yourself or your child.