Healthy teeth and gums are essential for children’s health and development. Therefore, the appearance of the first tooth, around the age of six months, is a reason for great joy, but also for paying a first visit to the dentist.
The American Dental Association, as well as Lakewood orthodontist specialists, recommend that this first visit should occur by the age of one year, up to a maximum of 6 months from the apparition of the first tooth. You might think that a visit to the dentist, during such an early stage of life, is useless, but this is not true. During the consultation, the dentist can show you how to properly maintain the oral hygiene of the baby, give you tips on balanced nutrition and recommend you safe oral hygiene products for your child.
The earlier children go to the dentist, the better. They get familiar with the environment and they realize soon that the dentist’s office is a place where someone will take care of their teeth and that there is nothing to be afraid of.
What happens during the first visit of your child to the dentist?
- the dentist assesses the oral health of the baby, the risk of caries, as well as the position and the growth of the teeth
- parents receive indications about the best tooth brushing methods
- the dentist estimates the fluoride level in the child`s diet and provides recommendations of fluoride supplements
- the dentists performs a check-up to determine whether there are any oral inflammations (gums, tongue etc.)
- the dentist evaluates the impact of the pacifier on the dentition and provides guidance in this regard
After the first visit to the dentist, the parents are advised to bring the child for a routine check-up on a regular basis (every six months or every year). This habit must go on during every life stage: preschool, school or teen.
If your first visit to the dentist happens only when the child is already a few years old (which is not recommended), you likely have to prepare a little for this moment, because the kid will probably be scared, since he/ she is not familiar with a dentist`s office. This is why taking him/ her to see the office and get familiar with what happens there is a good idea to start with. Maybe an older brother or an adult member of the family needs a treatment and they can show the child that there is nothing to be afraid of what happens during the treatment.
How do you choose the best dentist for your baby?
When it comes to choosing a dentist for their child, parents often go to the same specialist who takes care of their own teeth. This is not necessarily bad, especially if they feel they can trust that particular person.
However, it would also be good to consider choosing a pediatric dentist, who has additional training in treating children. A pediatric dentist is better prepared to cope with the babbling and crying, not to mention that his waiting room is typically packed with fun things, like books and toys.