When Should Your Child Start Seeing the Dentist?
Dental health is an important part of your child’s overall health and well-being. Regular dental care should become a part of their lives from the day their first tooth begins to show, but no later than their first birthday. Visits to the dentist should occur every six months.
The First Visit
Your child can get cavities as soon as the first tooth comes in. Being proactive about their dental care now will help keep their smile healthy for life. Your child’s first dental visit will often last about 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on their age, the visit may consist of a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to track growth and development. The dentist may show you proper home cleaning for your child. X-rays are not often performed on baby teeth, but may be used to see if the root of a jammed baby tooth is affecting an adult tooth.
Caring for Baby Teeth at Home
Before your child’s teeth start to come in, clean their gums with a clean, damp cloth at least twice a day, especially after feedings and before bedtime. This will wash off bacteria and prevent them from clinging to gums. Bacteria can leave behind a plaque that damages infant teeth as they come in. When the first teeth begin to come in, start out with a soft-bristle toothbrush with a small head. Just wet the toothbrush at first. You can use toothpaste in the amount of a grain of rice as soon as the teeth erupt. Look out for signs of baby tooth decay, such as brown or white spots or pits on the teeth.
Prevent cavities in baby teeth by only filling your baby’s bottle with formula, breast milk, or water. Avoid giving your child sodas, fruit juices, or other sugary drinks. These drinks, and even milk, can settle on the teeth and lead to baby tooth decay. Bacteria can feed on the sugar left behind by sweet drinks and produce acid, which attacks the baby’s teeth.
Remember that early dental visits can prevent trouble, as risks for decay and discoloration begin with the first baby tooth. Infants with dental disease can not receive typical in-office sedation for treatment, so regular visits to the dentist are crucial.
Jacksonville Dental Care
At Jacksonville Dental Care, we believe that everyone deserves a bright, clean, natural-looking smile. At Jacksonville Dental Care we have helped many patients correct years of oral neglect in just one or two comfortable and stress-free dental appointments. Contact us today!