When should I bring my child in for their first dental appointment?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked. The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends that parents bring their child in for their first visit within six months after their first tooth erupts, and no later than their 1st birthday. Primary “baby” teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay than our permanent “adult” teeth. For this reason, routine check-ups with the dentist are critical to ensure the health and vitality of those precious, pearly whites. A typical first appointment involves a dental mirror and counting the teeth out-loud. The first visit is crucial for not only your child, but for you as a parent. The dental team can help you care for your child’s oral health by answering any questions you may have in addition to teaching you proper, daily oral care techniques.
What can I do to care for my child’s teeth?
Even though we ultimately lose our baby teeth, they stick with us for nearly 12 years! They are equally as important as our “adult” teeth. Primary teeth are vital for good nutrition, speech development, and in paving the road for our permanent teeth. Here’s how to care of those little chompers: from the moment that your baby’s teeth erupt, you can begin brushing them with an infant toothbrush and non-fluoridated toothpaste until they are able to adequately spit (around age three). Begin flossing their teeth the moment they touch. You can further help prevent the occurrence of tooth decay by limiting your child’s exposure to sugar by limiting their intake of sugary foods and sweetened drinks. It is important to establish good oral self-care habits at a young age, making it more likely that they will consistently care for their permanent teeth in the future.
What if my child is afraid of the dentist?
Fear of the dentist is the reason millions of people live with untreated dental problems. Introducing your child to the dental environment at an early age will help keep those fears at bay. Here are some tips for how you can make your child’s first dental experience a positive and enjoyable one. How about a sneak preview? Children learn through observation and mirroring behavior. The next time you have a dental appointment bring your child along. Serve as a good role model! As long as you don’t have dental phobia yourself, seeing you relaxed and cooperative during a dental visit will make it more likely that they will behave the same. In addition, you can utilize a number of activities, songs, and even apps to help teach your kids about their teeth; this will make them more comfortable with the concept of brushing, the world of dentistry, and maintaining a healthy smile.
What can we do to care for your child’s teeth?
Not every dental appointment involves needles and drilling. There are many services we offer that can help reduce the occurrence of tooth decay and the development of cavities. In addition to routine cleanings, sealants are a great preventative measure. In fact, the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) supports the appropriate use of sealants, which is among the most successful preventative measures in the history of health care. A sealant is a plastic material that acts like a barrier in the deep grooves and depressions of back teeth, which are the areas most susceptible to plaque and tooth decay.
Conclusively, don’t be shy! Share any questions and concerns you may have with your dental care provider.