When you’re a new parent, bringing up your baby is a cause to celebrate many firsts – the first time they sit, stand, say mama or dada, and even the first time they brush their teeth. Babies start developing teeth as early as four months old, which begins the journey of their oral care. Most parents start cleaning their baby’s teeth with a finger brush or a toothbrush with super soft bristles by applying a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
But when is it a good time for kids to start going to the dentist, and is it even necessary? A trip to the dentist is very much recommended by the time your baby celebrates their first birthday. This visit helps you learn about mouth cleaning techniques, how to avoid tooth decay and cavities, and much more. So, here’s how you can prepare for your child’s first dental visit.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit Preparations
This first visit to the dentist is extremely essential and therefore, you can make your little one more comfortable for this trip in the following ways:
Prepare Your Baby
You can take your child for a dental visit early in the morning as they are fresh after a good night’s sleep. As your kid grows up, you can start explaining the significance of going to the dentist and why it is necessary.
As a parent, you may have certain doubts and questions which can now be clarified by a doctor. You can discuss any concerns regarding your child’s dental hygiene or the efficient way of caring for their oral health. Recommendations regarding your baby’s sore or tender gums or suitable kids toothbrushes for optimal cleaning can save you time from looking up products online. With the popularity of electric brush for kids growing due to its superior brushing mechanism, you could talk to the dentist about buying one for your child.
The First Dentist Appointment
You can talk to your kid about the dental visit and explain how someone will be looking at their teeth and cleaning it. Try showing your child some pictures of a dentist to help them understand. Alternatively, you could turn this into an excellent playtime activity, where you can a role-play and act like you are the dentist doing the check-up, allowing your child to play the doctor as well. This way, your child will associate positive emotions with the act of going to the dentist, thereby alleviating the little one’s fears.
If your baby is under the age of three, the dentist might suggest the parent hold the child in their lap while sitting in the dental chair for the first few appointments as well. Your dentist will examine your baby’s mouth for any early signs of decay and other dental problems. They will also inform you of many things to help your child have optimal oral hygiene and to grow up cavity-free. It would be helpful to take your younger kid for their older sibling’s appointment to eliminate the fear of visiting the doctor and to get them accustomed to the clinic. Ensure you make a regular appointment with the dentist here on for a healthy mouth.
The Second Dentist Appointment
After your child’s first appointment, they will now be more comfortable for their second visit. They would be more willing to sit in the chair alone as their parents observe or wait outside in the waiting room. The dentist may suggest an X-ray to check any decaying of teeth and to inspect if any baby tooth’s root is jammed that may affect the adult teeth. If your child is older, a gentle cleaning may be recommended to remove stains, tartar, and plaque. Daily habits of flossing and brushing properly would be explained by the dentist to avoid the build-up of plaque.
Tips for Child’s Oral Care
- Before your baby starts developing teeth, clean their mouth and gums with a damp and soft washcloth
- As the baby starts teething, you can start using a soft bristled toothbrush with a rice grain-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste. Clean the excess toothpaste from the mouth with a washcloth as the baby won’t be able to spit.
- You can progress to a pea sized smear of fluoride toothpaste when your tiny tot turns 3 years old
- As brushing can seem like a boring activity, add a little fun and excitement to this routine by getting personalised toothbrush or flavoured toothpaste. You could get your kid their favourite movie character with the Star Wars electric toothbrush or a Disney princess with the Frozen electric toothbrush for efficient cleaning.
- Limit the amount of time your baby drinks with a bottle and keep it to a minimum of 6 minutes to prevent tooth decay
- Start teaching your child to brush their teeth as they turn 7 years old. Help them f properly by instilling the habit of brushing at least twice a day.
- Upgrade to electric brush for kids as they remove plaque 100% more than a manual toothbrush. The Oral-B electric toothbrush also promotes dentist recommended two minute brushing by alerting you when the time is up.
Your child can now maintain a healthy mouth with the gentleness of Oral-B electric toothbrush which is dentist recommended #1 brand!
Learn more on Children's Teeth: Development, Prevention and Problems