Schedule your baby’s first dental visit before the first teeth come in – typically, at six months old. Parents receive their first instructions during this brief visit in caring for their infant’s earliest teeth, including cleaning and care, but this is also Baby’s first hands-on encounter with a dentist. Anticipate sitting in the dental chair yourself to hold your infant as we conduct our exam.
Though your baby’s first dental visit will literally be nothing memorable, your child’s first dental visit sitting solo in the dental chair begins to form a relationship between your child and the dentist.
We may take a set of X-rays to reveal decay and check the growth progress of permanent teeth before we gently examine your child’s gums and “baby teeth”. A first-time cleaning may include topical fluoride to provide growing teeth with an extra defense against decay. We’ll also recommend making sure your child’s at-home dental hygiene includes a strong supply of fluoride as well.
This is also where we may review expected changes in the cleaning and care of your child’s teeth. You may need to hold your child once more during the examination to quell any fears and provide some soothing comfort.
The dental appointment a child is able to remember can set a resounding tone for relationships with dentists for years to come. It’s a strange, new experience, much like getting a first haircut or buying shoes for the first time. Children can respond to this time in surprisingly well-adjusted ways. Still, fears can linger.
Parents can certainly help:
That brings us back to you, the parents. This is a key time for your child’s oral health. Rest assured, we’ll be covering some important ground with both you and your child during this appointment:
We want nothing more than for your children to grow up without the bother of tooth decay. Our preventative care strategies protect your child’s teeth with the most current and effective dental sealant technology. Made from space-age plastics, Dental sealants bond to the most decay-prone back teeth and shield enamel from corrosive bacteria.
Cavity-prevention is the foundation of lifelong quality dental health. The earlier you instill habits of limited sugar intake and regular brushing, the better. Cavities form more successfully the longer food residues remain on your childs teeth and the longer it takes to chew.
Eating sets off a 20-minute acidic reaction among oral bacteria as they digest sugars. That’s nearly a half-hour that bacteria can spend eroding tooth structures and creating cavities. Saliva with a thinner consistency breaks up and washes lingering food more quickly than the thicker saliva that results from a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates. Less-efficient saliva buys acid-producing bacteria more time to cause cavities.
There is no more opportune time to begin instilling sound dietary habits that will benefit your children for the rest of their lives:
You should notice the first two bottom-front baby teeth emerging when your baby is 608 months old, followed by four upper-front teeth and then remaining baby teeth appearing in pairs periodically along the sides of the jaw until your child is about 2 ½ years old.
These teeth are more than placeholders for permanent teeth. They play important early roles in chewing, biting, speech, appearance and overall facial development and should be kept as healthy as possible.
All 20 teeth should have arrived about midway between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. The first permanent teeth should begin erupting between the ages of 5 and 6 years old – some replacing baby teeth, some not. Some permanent may arrive a few months early or late without any resulting complications.