Parents have an enormous amount of responsibility when raising children. They have to provide shelter, food, clothing, love, and protection for them from their very first day of life. While this is a joy, it is also a heavy load to carry. There are so many aspects to think of that it is often easy to overlook certain areas. One area that should definitely not be ignored is your child’s oral health. Changes to your baby’s smile happen so rapidly, and once those baby teeth begin erupting inside her mouth, it is time to think about taking her to the dentist.
At Jefferson Dental Care, we agree with the American Dental Association (ADA) recommendation that your child visits the dentist within six months after the first tooth erupts. While this may seem like a very early age to begin dental visits, there are two main goals in this:
Children who visit the dentist from a young age are typically much more comfortable at the dentist’s office than children whose parents do not bring them until age six or later. Early dental visits allow your child to become familiar with the dentist and hygienist, and she gets used to having fingers and dental tools placed into her mouth. Early visits help to prevent children from being scared to go to the dentist.
Dentists can gain a baseline for a child’s oral health. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The earlier your dentist sees your child, the more information she or he will have about your child’s developing mouth. This baseline will allow the dentist to notice anything out of the ordinary right away so that it can be treated early.
Aside from these early appointments, there are things you can do at home to protect your child’s developing smile. Even before your child gets her first tooth, you should wipe down her gums with a damp washcloth. This will remove sugars and bacteria from the gums that are left behind after drinking breastmilk or formula. Once your child is sitting up on her own, you can give her a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure she is always supervised! Your child can chew on the toothbrush, as this will feel good on her gums and also do a little cleaning.
At Jefferson Dental Care, we love seeing our youngest patients. We truly believe that making your child’s oral health a priority when she is young will set her up for a bright future. Call our practice today to schedule an appointment.
Posted on behalf of Jefferson Dental Care