One of the most important things a parent can do for their child is to provide him or her with good healthy habits when it comes to caring for their teeth. After all, with so many health issues related to poor oral hygiene, the gift of healthy teeth is truly representative of unconditional love.
Did you know that a baby’s teeth are at risk for decay from the moment they break through the gums? For this reason, your child’s oral care should start as early as possible.
A Guide to Tooth Care for Children
Newborn to 1 Year – It’s not uncommon for some babies to not have their first teeth break through until they’re a year old or older. But, that doesn’t mean you should wait until that happens to start caring for your baby’s teeth. From the time your baby is born until their first tooth breaks through the gums, you should clean your baby’s gums daily using a clean moist wash cloth or gauze pad.
1 Year to 3 Years – When your child’s first tooth breaks through, you should start brushing their teeth and gums twice a day using about a grain of rice sized smear of fluoride toothpaste. By three years of age your child should be learning to brush his or her own teeth. Be sure to remind them to avoid swallowing the toothpaste.
3 Years to 6 Years – As your child grows, so should the amount of toothpaste they use. Between three and six, the amount of fluoride toothpaste used should be the size of a pea and they should continue following a morning and night brushing routine.
6 Years and Older – Your child should continue to follow the brushing habits they have learned and by the time he or she is six years or older, they should be brushing their teeth without supervision. When the time comes that your child has two teeth that touch, you should start teaching him or her how to floss.
When Should a Child’s First Dentist Appointment Be?
You should schedule your child’s first dental visit within six months after the first tooth appears, but before their first birthday. You don’t want your child’s first dental experience to be for an emergency. You also shouldn’t wait for school to start before your child sees the dentist for the first time. Getting your child comfortable with their dentist is one of the most important keys to building good mouth healthy habits and this means the earlier you start, the better.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist is designed to help make him or her feel comfortable with the overall experience and to get familiar with your child as a new patient. Therefore, this visit is mainly used by your dentist to examine the state of your child’s oral health and to check their growth and development.
Your child’s dentist will also use this initial visit to provide you with additional tips and advice for improving their daily oral care. Additionally, the dentist will inform you of any behaviors that could prove risky to their teeth, such as thumb-sucking or extended pacifier use.
Schedule Your Child’s First Family Dentist in Chesapeake VA Appointment with RB Comprehensive Dentistry Today
Get your child’s oral health off on the right foot, schedule an appointment with RB Comprehensive Dentistry today. Our office offers a friendly, fun, and inviting environment that will put your child at ease. And, our compassionate dentists will deliver pain-free care that will have your child looking forward to their next visit.
RB Comprehensive Dentistry is a full service family dentist in Chesapeake VA. Schedule an appointment today at the office that’s nearest you and start your child’s dental history off right.