When should my child see the dentist for the first time?
The American Dental Association recommends that children be seen when they get their first tooth. Dr. Boe and Dr. Mike of Lakeside Family Dentistry also feel that this is a good time to bring your child in for their first visit.
At this appointment, the doctor will have you hold your child on your lap and lay your baby’s head down on the doctor’s knees and do a knee to knee exam. This is an easy way for the dentist to examine your child’s mouth. This is an opportunity for the dentist and/or his assistant to talk with the parent and help educate them on healthy ways to care for their child’s teeth.
One of the things that can be very detrimental to your baby’s teeth is giving them a bottle of milk when they go to bed. It seems innocent enough, but the sugars in the milk sit on the teeth and can be very destructive. We have seen small children that have cavities in all of their teeth as a result of being put to bed with a bottle. Giving them juice in a bottle is equally detrimental. If you feel a need to put your baby to bed with a bottle, water is the only thing that you would want to give them.
Even when there is only one tooth in the mouth, it needs to be cared for. Using a wet cloth to wash the tooth off twice everyday will work great until they have a few more teeth. At that time a small soft toothbrush becomes more appropriate. If you have older children, you know that they hit an independence streak at about two and will want to brush their teeth themselves, which is fine, however it is important to follow up yourself to make sure they get all of the plaque off of their teeth. Children need help brushing until the age of about five or six. (Even if they don’t think so!) They don’t have the manual dexterity to brush effectively until this age. You may also consider having your child use an electric toothbrush.
Your infant can use infant toothpaste without fluoride or no toothpaste at all. When they are old enough to understand how to spit out their toothpaste you can start using toothpaste with fluoride.
As your child gets older and starts to eat solid foods it remains important to give them a healthy diet. One of the things good parents often give choose to give their kids are raisins and gummy fruit snacks. Both are sticky and tend to stick in the chewing surface of teeth and as a result can cause cavities.
These are just a few things to be aware of as you help your child to get a good start with their oral health.
Call 952.475.0989 to schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Boe or Dr. Mike. They will do a great job making your child feel like the special person they are!! And they may even be able to talk Dr. Boe into showing them a magic trick.