When To Visit A Pediatric Dentist
Having a baby is such an exciting adventure! Between the doctor’s appointments, milestones, and diapers, the last thing many new parents think about is a pediatric dentist. However, having your baby checked out by a dentist is a good idea, especially if they are experiencing problems with breastfeeding.
Keep reading and we’ll explain.
At What Age Do You Make An Appointment For Your Baby?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that parents make an initial “well-baby” appointment with a pediatric dentist approximately six months after the emergence of the first tooth, or no later than the child’s first birthday. This may seem surprisingly early, however, there are few dental issues that could affect breastfeeding, such as a tongue-tie, and health experts are concerned about the rise in childhood tooth decay.
Your Child’s First Visit
Pediatric dentists are trained for kid-sized mouths and all the issues that come with them. They are adept at handling kids of all ages, and will help teach your kid about oral wellness. The appointment will begin with the dental team making your child feel comfortable and asking them questions, or if they are under the age of one, they will ask the parents.
The questions will focus on the child’s oral habits. They will ask questions about current oral care, diet, the general health of the child, the child’s oral habits (like pacifiers and thumb sucking), and the child’s current fluoride intake.
Next, the dentist will have the child open their mouth so that they can check on jaw and bite issues. The dentist and the hygienist will explain what they are doing as they proceed with the appointment.
A big part of that first visit will be for the pediatric dentist to demonstrate for parents how infant teeth should be brushed and flossed. They will also help parents implement a strategy for preventative dental care to protect the child’s teeth and foster a strong oral care routine. Read our previous blog: 5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Brush, for more on kids and laying a foundation of good oral hygiene.
After the child’s teeth are cleaned, oftentimes, a topical fluoride treatment will be applied to the teeth. This is also a good time for you to address concerns, ask questions, and speak to your child’s dentist about teething.
Preventing Childhood Tooth Decay
A tooth is at risk for tooth decay as soon as it first emerges. In particular, infants who drink breast milk, formula, juice, soda, or sweetened water from a baby bottle or sippy cup are at high-risk for early childhood cavities. A pediatric dentist will discourage parents from filling cups with sugary fluids or dipping pacifiers in anything sweet, like honey.
Pediatric dentists will also warn parents against sharing spoons or utensils from their own mouths and transmitting harmful oral bacteria to the child.
Most importantly, brush your infant’s teeth and gums every day to prevent cavities.
My Kid Has A Cavity. Now What?
If your child has a cavity it is important to have it examined right away. In most cases, fillings are the best course of action.
The dentist will have your child come in for semiannual appointments to check the health of the teeth and for routine cleaning. During these appointments, the dentist may also give them a fluoride treatment. As your child gets older, the dentist will also check on how the permanent teeth are coming in to ensure they are coming in correctly.
Contact Castle Valley Dental For The Entire Family
Located in Castle Rock, Colorado, our family dental practice encourages the entire family to have the best oral care — from infants to grandparents.
Contact our staff of dental experts to learn more about our general dentistry services or to schedule an appointment.