All parents want to make sure their children start out life happy and healthy. Many parents, though, are confused about how this applies to dental care. When should an infant visit the dentist for the first time? How often should young children see a dentist to ensure healthy development of their teeth? What can parents do to keep teeth and gums healthy before it is necessary to visit the dentist?
Caring for Your Child’s Teeth and Gums
There are several things you can do to help keep your child’s mouth healthy before it is necessary to begin regular visits to the dental office. Using a soft cloth or gauze, you can clean your baby’s gums, which will not only keep sugars away from the tissues but will also prepare your child for having his teeth brushed when he gets older.
It is also important not to let your child fall asleep with a bottle in his mouth. The long-term exposure to sugars from milk can lead to eventual tooth decay when the teeth emerge.
Other measures to help protect your child’s teeth include:
- Do not share eating utensils
- Do not “clean” pacifiers by putting them in your mouth
- Avoid sharing food dishes or other practices that could transfer bacteria from your mouth to your child’s
These practices can not only lead to tooth decay, but can also transmit communicable diseases to your baby.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Most dentists recommend that a child visit the dentist for the first time after the first tooth arrives. The dentist can evaluate your child’s overall oral health on this initial visit, as well as provide guidance that will help you properly care for your child’s emerging teeth. He or she might recommend a certain type of toothbrush, a specific brushing schedule or other regimen of care, and will provide guidelines about how often your child should visit the dentist in the future.
For more information about when and how often your infant or toddler should visit the dentist, please contact a dentist in Irving.