When it comes to a lifetime of oral health, the early stages are absolutely vital. Early child dental care is an absolute must if you want your kids to have healthy teeth and gums throughout their lives, and this starts with the initial visit to a children’s dentist.
At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help in this area. We have numerous resources available for your child’s first visit to our office, from the timing to the things you should be thinking about both before and after. In part one of this two-part blog, we’ll go over some of the timing details surrounding your first visit to the dentist with your child.
Baby Teeth and Development
The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that your first dental visit for your child occurs either at the appearance of their first tooth or at their first birthday – whichever comes first. This is known as a “well-baby checkup,” and it’s important for a few reasons.
For one, it helps promote strong tooth development. Baby teeth generally begin to appear in children by six months old, with central teeth erupting into view by eight to 12 months in most cases. Many molars won’t begin showing up until a year or even two years in, but it’s very important to begin your dental relationship with a child dentist at the first sign of teeth.
One of the primary reasons the above is true is due to the risk of decay in child teeth, which begins immediately as soon as they appear in the mouth. Babies drink a huge amount of sugar through breast milk, formula and various juices, and the acids in these can attack the teeth and begin the decaying process. Your dentist, however, can give you tips and advice on how to avoid this (we’ll also go over some of these in part two of this blog).
Habits and Products
The first visit to your child’s dentist isn’t just for them – it’s also for you as a parent. Your dentist can show you basic tips on cleaning your child’s teeth, feeding them, various oral habits, and even the right kinds of products to purchase for your child. They can ensure fluoride needs are being met, plus perhaps most importantly can answer any and all of your individual questions about your child’s mouth care.
Creating a Foundation
In a general sense, making an early visit to the dentist with your child sets a foundation for the future. Your child gets comfortable in their office as early as possible, including learning to recognize the familiar face of your dentist. On the flip side, your dentist gets to know you, your family and your general needs.
In part two of this blog, we’ll discuss some specific tips for your first visit and a few other early oral care areas. To learn more about this or any of our child dental services, speak to the pros at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.