Your little ones are hitting all of their milestones, from rolling over and standing on their own. One of the most important milestones came with a little fanfare: The eruption of their first tooth. Once your infant has their first tooth, it’s time to start thinking about when to take them to a pediatric dentist. What are the signs that your child needs to see a dentist?
For more information on first visits and issues you might run into with your child, read what dentists want you to know here:
When To Book Your First Appointment
The very first time that you take your infant to see the pediatric dentist is a milestone that you’re unlikely to forget. Unfortunately, many parents are confused about what they should do when their infant starts to have teeth erupt through the gums. They often feel that what they’re doing at home with brushing and maintaining their teeth is sufficient.
However, the Canadian Dental Association recommends getting your infant to a skilled dentist as soon as possible. In fact, most dentists will recommend that infants be seen at least by the time they’re one year old or within the first six months of the eruption of their first tooth.
Why should your child see the dentist so early in life?
There are several reasons why dentists recommend seeing your child sooner rather than later. First, it helps your child to see that going to the dentist isn’t a scary experience but a helpful one. They’re less likely to be anxious about upcoming appointments if exposed to it from the youngest age possible.
More than that, it allows your pediatric dentist to spot problems as early as possible. Learn better tips for caring for your child’s teeth and gums at home between appointments. If there are any major issues that require attention, you’re likely to get to them before they become painful or problematic.
Make an Appointment Regardless of Problems
After your little one’s first visit to the dentist, you should make their maintenance a priority for the future. Every six months, they should find themselves back in the chair to have their teeth inspected, cleaned, and possibly even X-rayed. It might seem excessive to parents whose children have very few teeth, but it’s a worthwhile investment of your time and resources.
Consider that children can start to develop cavities as early as two years of age. If you wait too long to take them to the dentist, these cavities can progress and even cause pain and discomfort. Not to mention, it may not be feasible to save the tooth if the decay has eclipsed the entire tooth. Catching decay early means that your child will have a healthier smile.
If you visit the dentist before decay takes place, you can learn more about how to care for your child’s teeth. While much of parenting comes naturally, dental care and oral hygiene may not be one of these areas. Your pediatric dentist can give you tips for brushing, offer advice on fluoride toothpaste, and more.
What To Expect at Your First Appointment
Parents may be just as nervous as their children about how the first visit with a pediatric dentist will go. You’ll find that this can actually be a great experience for both parents and baby, as the first appointment is relatively low-stress. In fact, most of the appointment is dedicated to helping parents understand how best to take care of the new teeth.
Yes, the dentist will inspect the teeth to determine if they’re coming in properly or have any enamel defects. However, this is the most technical thing that a pediatric dentist will do. There are no sharp objects involved for little ones in this age group.
Take advantage of the time that you have your dentist’s attention and come with a list of your questions about oral health. Beyond just routine oral hygiene, dentists know a good bit about how diet influences dental health (such as the debate over whether sippy cups are good for the teeth).
They can even help you with some advice about weaning pacifiers or coping with the pain of teething. A good pediatric dentist has tons of skill and real-world experience to recommend the best practices for a healthy smile as your child starts to grow up. Just like their pediatrician, a dentist can be a great resource for new parents.
Finding the Right Pediatric Dentist
If you want to ensure that your child is in good and capable hands, then it makes sense to look for someone who specializes in children. A pediatric dentist in Saskatoon, like Dental House, will help you make the most of your child’s first dental appointment and any follow-ups that occur in the following years. Let us take a look at your child’s dental health and help them have a healthy smile for years to come!