Do you remember your first dental visit? Probably not. You were likely too young to remember the first time a dentist had a look at your teeth!
A lifetime of healthy teeth starts with the habits we form as children. Set your child up for dental success by taking care of their teeth the moment they emerge (and even before that).
According to the Canadian Dental Association, it’s best to take your baby to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth eruption. Typically, the first tooth emerges when your baby is 3-7 months old.
Once that first tooth starts poking through, it’s time to book a dental exam. Here’s what to expect during your child’s first dental appointment:
Their First Dental Visit
Once your child is comfortable, your dentist will take a look at their teeth. During the dental exam, they’ll count the number of teeth they have and look at the health of their gums. As the parent, you’re welcome to be present during the examination; this can help your child feel more comfortable.
Then, your child’s dentist will make recommendations based on what they find. Is there plaque build-up near the gums? The dentist might suggest brushing your child’s teeth more often or cutting back on sweets.
The goal of the first visit is for the dentist to get a general idea of your child’s oral health. It’s also an opportunity to educate parents about how to care for their baby’s teeth.
After the appointment is done, schedule a follow-up in 6-12 months. Preemptive care is always best when it comes to dentistry!
Introducing your child to the dentist early on helps kids learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of. The friendly dentists at Dental House will ensure your child feels at ease.
As children get older, they may develop dental anxiety. At our Saskatoon dental clinic, we might recommend nitrous sedation (also known as laughing gas) to make their dental visit more comfortable.
What is pediatric dentistry?
This branch of dentistry focuses exclusively on diagnosing and treating oral health issues that arise in babies, children, and teenagers. A pediatric dentist is specifically trained to work with infants.
Tooth decay is common in young children. Did you know that in Canada, 57% of 6 to 11-year-olds have had a cavity? The goal of pediatric dentistry is to prevent childhood cavities. This is done through routine cleanings, education, and restorative dental treatments.
How To Clean Your Child’s Teeth
You can’t brush your baby’s teeth before they’ve hardly emerged from their gums. What can you do to keep their mouth clean?
First, take a soft washcloth. Dampen it with warm water, and then rub it along your baby’s gum line. You can do this whenever your child finishes eating or drinking something. It will remove any food debris from the gums.
Once the baby teeth begin to emerge, you can use a small toothbrush with very soft bristles to clean the teeth. Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and use a light hand while brushing.
Until your child is old enough to spit it out, avoid using fluoridated toothpaste; swallowing fluoride can cause a stomach ache.
How long should you help your child with brushing? Your kid may need assistance until they’re 7 or 8 years old. Everyone is different; keep an eye on them, and even once they brush on their own, practise together to ensure they remember how to.
Protect Your Baby’s Teeth
What can you do to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy? Try the following:
- Don’t send them to bed with milk or juice. In your baby’s bottle, only use water. Otherwise, sugar will sit on their teeth during the night and cause tooth decay. This is known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.
- Try to limit their intake of candy. Sugary treats can wreak havoc on teeth. Children love sweets, but try to give your child candy in moderation. Swap out your child’s sweets for raw fruits and vegetables, which contain fibers that help keep teeth clean and prevent tooth decay. They may not appreciate it now, but they’ll thank you for it when they’re an adult.
- Encourage daily brushing and flossing. Your child’s dental health depends on their oral hygiene routine. Start building healthy habits early by cleaning their teeth twice a day. As more teeth grow in, you can show them how to floss.
Book Your Child’s Appointment at Dental House Today!
Looking for a dentist in Saskatoon for your children? At Dental House, we treat your child with compassion and care; our dentists and staff are both friendly and gentle. We do our best to ensure your child always has a positive experience at our clinic.
When it’s time to take your child to the dentist, take them to Dental House. We welcome patients of all ages, from young infants to seniors. Book your dentist appointment today!