When Should Your Baby Have Their First Dentist Appointment?
Now that your baby has his or her teeth you will want to keep them in good shape. As an adult, you go for regular cleanings and care to the dentist. Babies are quite different though. Their needs are much different than an older child or adults needs. There are times to go to the dentist and times not to.
I will walk you through this step by step and I hope this brings some insight to the question above.
Tips Before the Teeth Come
Before your child’s teeth ever come in there are some things you should know. Caring for their gums is the first step to good oral hygiene. Taking care of a baby’s gums promotes a healthy gum line and mouth all while helping when teething begins. Massaging the gums while teething helps the teeth to break through the gums with less pain.
Back to the health of it all. Your baby’s gums should never be cleaned with toothpaste or toothbrushes, those can harm your child’s mouth and cause cuts in the gum that can lead to painful health issues. Baby Center suggest using a wet washcloth or gauze and wiping down your baby’s gums twice a day. You can find more information at BabyCenter.com. This is something to do while waiting for the teeth to come.
No dental appointments should be in sight just yet, unless your child’s primary doctor suggests it, which usually does not happen.
Now Your Baby’s Tooth Has Arrived
Is it time for the dentist yet? You guessed it. Yes! J’aime Mes Dents, a Montreal pediatric dentist, suggests that children should go to their first dentist appointment by the age of one or 6 months after their first tooth has arrived. It is nothing to stress too much about, but it is something that should be done.
The first dentist appointment consists of advice really. They look at your child’s mouth and make sure everything is growing alright and healthy, then they educate you on things such as thumb sucking or cleaning habits. Going to the dentist sets a good stage for things to come.
When your child goes to future appointments they will be well acquainted with his or her dentist and will already be in the routine which will make things easier for when they are older and need an uncomfortable x-ray or filling.
Another thing the doctor will educate on is fluoride. Fluoride should only be used on children who are mature enough not to swallow the wash or toothpaste. A lot of children’s toothpaste does not have fluoride because a lot of younger children accidentally ingest the paste while brushing no matter how many times you may have told them not to.
So, no fluoride until your child matures and the dentist is a good one to ask about this. Another good thing that they teach about and can possibly do as the teeth fully come in one by one is sealants. Sealants are worth every penny and even more once adult teeth come in.
How Should I Care For Their Teeth In Between Visits?
It can take two years before all your child’s teeth fully come in. You will be dealing with drooling and swollen gums with maybe a slight temperature during this time. Keep your baby comfortable with teething rings, massaging their gums and pain relievers. There are risks with the pain relievers though that have led to being fatal in infants. I don’t think they are worth it but teething tablets seem safe and well trusted unlike other pain relieving gels.
Teething tablets are homeopathic and work like putting sugar in their mouth. It is an instant distraction. Teething gels numb the mouth and can cause a fatal reaction when used too much or overdose. Always be careful.
The best thing I found was a clean washcloth that has been wet then froze. Babies seem to love that the most. Brush their little teeth twice a day and never let them sleep with a cup or bottle. This will rot their beautiful new teeth quickly.
Another thing not to do is give sugary beverages in their bottle like sweet tea. Sweet tea is very bad for your child’s teeth or even health. Web MD says that only formula, breastmilk, and water are the only things that should be going into your baby’s bottle. That is the best way to prevent the start of cavities at an early age.
There are so many things to learn with your new baby but don’t fret it will all come as your baby grows and matures. It is always good to plan and know what route you want to make in your child’s future, but don’t try to conquer it all in one night. It will all come in time. You got this.