When children develop good dental health habits early on, it can improve their health for the rest of their lives. If kids truly understand the importance of brushing and flossing, they are more likely to avoid plaque, tooth decay, and other issues as kids, teens, and adults.
With that in mind, it’s vital kids get comfortable visiting the dentist from the very first steps in life.
Although newborn infants do not have any dental care needs, it won’t be long before they are showing their very first teeth. These “baby teeth,” known by dentists as deciduous teeth, start to appear around the six-month mark, although teething may begin at four months of age. These teeth, in turn, will be replaced by the “adult” or permanent teeth starting around age six.
But children must be well acquainted with dental care – both at home and in the dentist’s office – long before this point.
When It Comes to Childhood Dental Care, Earlier is Better
A child should see a dentist for the first time by the first birthday. When the first tooth becomes visible, the countdown begins. It’s essential to make an appointment with a trusted family dentist within six months from the emergence of the tooth.
Why Should Children See a Dentist Within the First Year of Life?
It might seem odd to see a dentist when a child still has a mostly toothless grin, but it’s for the best. In fact, it can set the tone for a life free of dental health problems.
As soon as a tooth appears, there is a possibility of tooth decay. Likewise, a child’s mouth must be examined early to determine if teeth are developing at an appropriate rate and have healthy spacing. The baby teeth are subject to painful problems if they grow in incorrectly.
Additionally, an early dental visit also has other benefits. It teaches children from the start that the dentist is an adult they can trust to help them protect their teeth.
Visiting a Pediatric Dentist Can Help Parents Too
Infants and toddlers depend on the adults in their lives to help them with their early dental care. Even if you’ve never cared for a child’s teeth, personalized advice from a dentist can help you stay on the right track. If you have cared for a child’s teeth in the past, it never hurts to get a refresher on the topic.
As a general rule:
- Children’s teeth should be brushed daily as soon as they emerge in the mouth
- A rice-sized quantity of fluoridated toothpaste may be used after six months
- Adults should brush & floss a child’s teeth until the age of about six years
- At six, a child can begin to brush independently, but should still be supervised
- A child should be confident about unsupervised brushing by the age of eight
Central Avenue Dental is a family friendly dental practice that welcomes young patients. Contact us to find out more or set your appointment. We look forward to meeting you.