When Should Your Child See The Dentist

baby-brushing-own-teeth

 


 

We’ve been asked A LOT lately when the best time is for a young child to see a dentist.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states your child should begin seeing a dentist by their First Birthday.  This allows the Dentist to educate you on your child’s oral health along with establishing a good relationship between your child and dentist.

  • Brushing and Flossing Your Baby’s Teeth:
    • You should begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt (~by 6 months of age), by wiping their teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth or a very soft infant toothbrush after each feeding.  The Spiffie’s Wipes are great to get your child use to being in their mouth.  spiffies
    • You may use toothpaste and it can contain fluoride, however, make sure you use only a smear (less than the size of a pea). If you child does not like toothpaste feel free to use water.
    • Begin flossing your child’s teeth daily when all primary teeth have come in, usually around age 2- 2 ½ years old.
    • Brush your child’s teeth until ~age 8
  • Bottles and Pacifiers and Sports
    • If your child takes a bottle to bed, or needs the comfort of a bottle for a long period of time during the day, only put water in the bottle, or switch to a pacifier.
    • Use of pacifiers are wonderful during 1-12months of age for children and have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. After the age of 1 pacifiers and thumb sucking habits should be eliminated due to the risk of increased ear infections and jaw constriction (this may lead to the need for braces in the future)
    • If your child plays any sports be sure to protect their teeth with a mouthguard.
    • If your child ever loses a permanent tooth playing be sure to put the tooth in milk and call your Dentist ASAP.
  • Diet
    • Use a sippy-cup only at mealtime, or put water in the cup between meals.
    • Find out if your local water supply contains fluoride. If it doesn’t we may prescribe fluoride supplements based on your child’s risk for cavities.
    • Limit Juice Exposure to 4-6 ounces per day as it may lead to early cavities in your baby or toddler’ teeth
    • Prevent cavities by limiting sodas, candy, sweets and carbs. Always brush after having any of these.
    • If you child has any dark spots or discolorations on their teeth, immediately schedule an appointment with their dentist.
  • Teething Myths and Facts
    • Myths: Teething can cause…
      • Diarrhea
      • Fever
      • Ear rubbing
    • Facts: Teething can cause…
      • Irritability
      • Finger sucking
      • Gum rubbing
      • Drooling

We hope this helps answer any questions you may have about your little one!  We do see children in this practice starting as early as 6 months to 1 year old.

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