It’s understandable if you’re afraid to bring your child in for a dental visit. You’re probably wondering why you’d even bother considering they only have a single tooth, and you know it’s only going to fall out anyway. The reality is early dental visits aren’t really meant for performing full-blown cleanings. They’re meant to make your child more comfortable the next time they visit.
When visiting a children’s dentist in Richardson, you can expect a welcoming environment that’s nothing to be afraid of, both for children and parents.
WHEN TO BRING YOUR CHILD TO THE DENTIST
According to the American Dental Association, children should be brought to their first dental visit within 6 months of their first tooth erupting or before their first birthday. This may sound surprising at first, but early dental visits are a key part of making sure your child’s mouth is developing normally.
Keep in mind that primary teeth need just as much attention as permanent teeth because primary teeth act as placeholders before the permanent teeth erupt. For example, if their baby teeth become decayed and fall out, permanent teeth can easily grow in crooked. This can negatively affect their bite as well as create the need for orthodontic intervention later.
There’s no reason to be afraid when bringing your child in for visits. Here’s what you can expect.
YOUR CHILD’S FIRST VISIT
The first visit is intended to acclimate your child to the office and briefly examine your child’s mouth. It’s quick, painless, and you’ll get a chance to discuss proper at-home care as their teeth continue to erupt.
As they age, they’ll eventually have a more traditional appointment that involves a thorough exam and dental cleaning. If your child feels uncomfortable beforehand, they can meet the rest of the dental team and walk around the office. Doing this works to make their future visits easier and better establishes their dental home.
Furthermore, you’ll be updated on the latest at-home care steps to take as they reach certain ages.
HOW TO PRACTICE PROPER AT-HOME CARE
Even when no teeth are present, infants need their mouth cleaned with either a damp washcloth wrapped around your finger or a small, soft-bristled brush designed for babies. Use no more than a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice when brushing their teeth and gums until they reach the age of three.
After the age of three, start increasing the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. Brush their teeth twice a day and be sure to brush the molars, which are very vulnerable to cavities. You’ll also want to start flossing once two teeth touch. Keep in mind that most children can’t brush on their own until they reach six or seven years of age.
Looking for more tips on keeping your child’s oral health in good shape? Schedule an appointment with a dentist in Richardson today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. David Nguyen is determined to provide patients the dental care they need regardless of their age. He teaches children to love their smile and look forward to seeing the dentist every time they visit. To learn more about his preventive treatments for children or about his practice, you can contact him or read more through his website.