If you are a new parent, then you are likely wondering about when you should take your baby to a pediatric dentist for the first time. The good news is that there are some simple guidelines that you should follow to ensure your baby or toddler has the best oral health possible:
First Dental Visit
You should make an appointment with your pediatric dentist when your child turns one year old. Since the baby teeth are already starting to emerge at this age, it is vital that your dentist has a chance to x-ray and view the teeth for potential dental problems.
In fact, early dental intervention often results in:
- less dental treatment being required
- better dental hygiene through instruction at appointments
- less decay and preventable dental diseases
Additionally, early dental intervention measures can help to lessen speech delay problems by correcting structural problems early. These types of problems are typically resolved through the use of:
Frequency of Dental Visits
You should take your child to the dentist every six months. However, there are some exceptions which require more frequent appointments, such as:
- family history of severe dental decay
- poor oral health habits
- special needs children
Also, if your child wears any dental appliances, then they may need to visit the dentist more often for cleanings. In fact, many children with braces are advised to visit the dentist every three months.
Cleaning Baby and Toddler Teeth
As soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital, you should be wiping down their gums after they nurse. By removing the milk coating on your baby's gums, you can help to prevent cavities in their young baby teeth as they start to emerge. The best thing to use is a clean, moist washcloth.
As your child's teeth start to emerge, then you should start brushing them twice each day with a soft toothbrush and a very small dot of toothpaste. It is bad for your child's health if they swallow too much fluoridated toothpaste, so you should use very little on the toothbrush. Too much fluoride in your child's body can cause tooth discoloration and bone disorders.
By taking care to learn as much as you can about childhood dental issues, you can help your child get the best start down the road to good oral health. If you have additional questions about baby or toddler dental care, then you should make an appointment with a dentist in your area.