OK!!!!! So you’ve done the hard work and now you have a baby………..
Well!!! You THOUGHT you’d done the hard work……
Now you have all the ongoing questions of When, What, Where, Why and How???
You will feel as if you know NOTHING from the simple things like which shampoo to use to big things like whether or not to practice the “No Cry Sleep Solution” or indeed if you even know ANYTHING!! However, at least for dental questions, we are here and happy to be of help!!
So, when do you take your precious little one for his or her first trip to the dentist? In the past, general thinking was that you wait until your child was three, by which time pretty much most of the first (deciduous) teeth had appeared. However, now, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that the first visit be no more than 6 months after the arrival of the first tooth.
When you take your baby to the dentist for the first time you will get the chance to visit with the Dentist and have him answer any questions you may have. The first visit is really more about getting Baby comfortable with the dentist and his staff, and of course, to familiarize him with the actual dental office. The dentist will look at Baby’s history and look at his mouth. Depending on how many teeth (and of course how willing Baby is), the hygienist might also have a look and possibly clean Baby’s teeth. Some babies/toddlers will be happy sitting in the big dentist chair, while others will prefer to stay on Mommy’s (or Daddy’s) lap for the exam. Either way is OK, as I said earlier – the main purpose of the first visit is just to get Baby familiar with the dental office.
During your visit, the dentist will take time to answer any questions you have, go over things such as how to take care of Baby’s oral hygiene and give you advice about avoiding cavities, possible trauma to the mouth, teething and normal expected development of Baby’s mouth and teeth. Before you leave, you should feel that you have all the information you need, as well as a plan in place for future visits to the dentist.
Here are some pointers in the right direction:
Cleaning: As soon as the first tooth appears, you should start cleaning. At first, you can wipe the tooth with a clean, damp cloth every day. Once other teeth start to appear, you could start to use a soft baby sized toothbrush. Only use fluoride from 2 years, unless your dentist recommends it.
How much toothpaste?: A small smear of toothpaste, is all you need. Again, remember, no fluoride unless your dentist advises it. Too much fluoride, even though it is great for fighting cavities, can cause white spots on teeth. You will also have to teach your child to spit out the toothpaste and rinse the mouth well after brushing. When they get older (around 6 years old) they can use a small blob of toothpaste, the size of a small pea.
How often?: Children need to start off right by brushing at least twice a day. Initially, you will have to do it for them, and you will have to continue to supervise them and watch them closely once they are old enough to hold the toothbrush themselves. Making sure that they only use a smear of toothpaste…….kids LOVE to squeeze the tube, well….it DOES look kind of cool when it comes out of the tube!!!!!
By starting early with your baby, you can help them to have a healthy relationship with their dentist AND their teeth!!!!