At Guelph Dental Associates, we are here to help maintain oral health for our patients.
Your Child's First Visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should fall around his or her first birthday. This is the time when your child's baby teeth have surfaced and it is approximately six months following the breakthrough of their first baby tooth.
It is important to make visits to the dentist an exciting experience for young children. Parents should speak with their children openly about an upcoming dental appointment and answer any questions a child may have about the experience.
Here are some things you can say to your child about their first dental appointment:
- Your dentist will count your teeth.
- Your dentist will brush your teeth.
- Nothing will hurt or bother you, but if it does, please tell the dentist.
Care Between Visits
While regular visits to the dentist are important for your children's oral health, their smiles will still need thorough and consistent at-home dental care.
Even before the teeth surface in your child’s mouth, the gums should be gently washed each day. Twice-daily brushing should begin as soon as the teeth break through the gums, although the teeth may initially be cleansed using water, rather than toothpaste.
And as your child gets older, it is safe to begin using children’s toothpaste as recommended by the dentist.
The Development of Healthy Smiles
By the age of 3, most children have 20 teeth, which are often referred to as baby teeth.
Children are born with these teeth, although they do not appear until several months after birth.
Although these teeth will eventually fall out usually beginning around the child’s 6th birthday, they are still susceptible to decay until that time.
All throughout childhood, the dentist will inspect the baby teeth for cavities and signs of decay, as well as ensure the teeth are surfacing normally.
As your child grows, their dental visits will continue according to a schedule determined by the dentist.
Parents are also instructed on proper home dental care and advised of day-to-day habits that could cause early decay.
Caution may be given about:
- Pacifier usage
- Sending children to bed with bottles or sugary beverages
- Using fluoridated toothpastes prior to age two