Babies develop their first milk teeth about six months after birth. Every parent knows this is a difficult time for their young child, and there will be plenty of sleepless nights. From this point onwards, it’s vital that your child has regular visits to the dentist. Good habits start early, and you should begin to implement them from that first milk tooth. At the age of six or seven, your child will get their first wobbly tooth, and it will soon fall out.
As a parent, it’s your job to help them develop good oral hygiene and sensible habits. That should include a good diet, and regular teeth routines. Every six months, they should get a checkup with the dentist, just to make sure everything is growing nicely. Dentists take care to monitor the alignment and growth of children’s teeth. If there are any problems, dentists can take quick action to help them grow straight and naturally.
We understand that visiting the dentist is often quite scary for young children and babies. The tools and machinery are often overwhelming, but dentists are well-trained to deal with this. They’ll do their very best to help you feel comfortable and at ease. So, what exactly can you expect from your children’s health care?
When to take your baby to the dentist for the first time?
Experts say that you should start taking your children for checkups when they get their first milk teeth. That should be before their first birthday, around the six month mark. It’s good practice to introduce them to the dental surgery and the procedures. Even though they won’t be aware of it, or remember it, it will become a subconscious association. The earlier you can introduce a dentist into their life, the better. It will allow them to get used to the feeling of opening their mouth and checking the teeth. They’ll become familiar with the dentist chair, and grow comfortable with the process. After the first visit, make regular checkup appointments every six months.
Those first few milk teeth are often excruciating for small children. They’re too young to understand what is causing the pain, and their cries will keep you up all night! A good dentist will help you cope with the early teething problems. To start with, they’ll help prescribe a numbing agent or treatment. There are also chews and distractions that will help reduce the pain. Those first few checkups are crucial to the healthy development of their first teeth. Don’t skip them.
What to expect from your baby’s first teeth check
During their early checkups, dentists are looking for a variety of things. First of all, they’re looking for all the usual oral health problems and issues. They’ll spot the early buildup of plaque and tartar. This grows from lack of brushing and cleaning. Plaque will eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease if left unattended. They’re also looking for symptoms of more general health problems, many of which begin in the mouth. Lastly, they’ll check the tongue and throat for any other complications.
Alignment and growth
One of the big differences between adult and child teeth checks is the focus on growth and alignment. Up until their teen years, teeth continue to grow. In some cases, there will be overcrowding or strange growth. It’s up to your dentist to monitor this, and take action if necessary. Sometimes, they’ll prescribe a brace or teeth guard to help guide teeth into the correct positions. Other times, they’ll even remove teeth to free up space and reduce overcrowding. 3D images and X-rays are often used to spot the tell-tale signs.
Preventative dental care
Most importantly, dentists will help your children’s teeth grow strong and healthy. Dentists will actively help prevent gum disease and tooth decay with a variety of techniques. In some cases, they’ll use additional fluoride to strengthen teeth. Fluoride is the main ingredient in toothpaste, and specially designed for oral health. They may even prescribe sealants to help lock out bacteria, and strengthen teeth for chewing.
One of your biggest responsibilities as a parent is to encourage positive habits. This is especially important when it comes to oral health, and your dentist can help here. It’s vital that children develop a regular oral health routine from the moment their milk teeth arrive. It should include brushing teeth twice a day, with the correct technique. Dentists will help show children exactly how to brush correctly, and advise on the best toothpaste. They’ll also counsel parents on the best diets, and how to supplement their child’s teeth care.
Repairing of cavities
Cavities can develop even at the youngest ages. These are holes or dark circles that are worn away by acid bacteria. Left alone, these will eventually weaken, and wear away to the nerves and underlying tissue. It’s a common problem in children who don’t practice good oral hygiene and suffer from a poor diet. Luckily, dentists can spot the early signs of cavities, and help prevent any further problems. They’ll also suggest lifestyle changes to help discourage any more problems.
Diet is incredibly important for the development of your child’s teeth and bones. It all starts at a young age, where the child’s diet prepares the body for the future. That means plenty of milk and calcium to help the strong, healthy growth of teeth. Yoghurt is also a great addition to your child’s diet here. Your dentist will help advise on the best dietary requirements and foods for healthy teeth. They’ll also give you a long list of foods to avoid! Most commonly, these are sugars and fizzy drinks. Dentists have some great advice on what alternatives you can use including fruit and other healthy treats.
Last of all, a good dentist will help calm the nerves of young children and babies. They know that the bright lights and tools are unnerving for your little ones. They often dread visiting the dentist, and will actively fight against it! Don’t worry, dentists have seen it all before, and they know how to make your children feel comfortable.
Good teeth habits start early, so introduce your children to the dentist as soon as possible.
Call Grand Parkway Smiles today to setup your child’s dental visit (832) 222.0016