Have you asked, “When should I take my baby to the dentist?” It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby’s oral health. Establishing an early routine of regular dental visits and at-home oral hygiene habits will help protect baby teeth as they grow and the permanent ones as they develop. Prevention is better than cure. The earlier your child visits the dentist, the better.
It’s recommended that children have their first dental appointment once their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday. By starting routine dental visits early, you can familiarize your child with the dentist’s office and staff while also creating positive experiences around dental healthcare. Additionally, by bringing your child for appointments at a young age, your dentist can detect problems early and recommend treatment while teeth are still growing.
What to Expect During the First Visit
Your baby’s first visit to the dentist is all about getting to know you and your child. These early appointments are critical for building a positive relationship with your baby in a welcoming, safe environment. The initial appointment also includes an exam to ensure your infant’s overall oral development is on the right track.
The appointment may include:
- Examining the child’s bite and looking for signs of problems with the gums or jaws
- Checking existing teeth for signs of decay
- Cleaning teeth if they are present
- Educating parents and kids about proper oral hygiene
To prepare for your child’s first visit, make a list of questions concerning your baby’s oral health. These may include topics such as thumb-sucking, pacifier habits, teething, and baby bottle tooth decay. Your dentist can provide instructions on how to clean your baby’s teeth and gums, as well as tips for preventing childhood tooth decay or other dental diseases.
Tips for Keeping Your Infant’s Teeth Healthy
Between regular dental exams and checkups, parents can play an important role in helping protect and improve their baby’s oral health at home. To promote healthy oral hygiene, you should:
- Wipe your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings
- Gently clean each tooth with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush as teeth emerge
- Incorporate flossing into your child’s routine as more and more teeth emerge
- Encourage healthy eating habits at home and limit sugary foods and drinks in your child’s diet
Schedule You Child’s First Visit Today
Ready to schedule your child’s first appointment to the dentist? At Sycamore Hills Dentistry, our team has years of experience caring for the unique dental needs of babies and children. We offer all types of affordable, patient-centered services — including pediatric dentistry, periodontal treatment, and emergency care. Contact our office today to plan your next visit.