So much in life is about preventing unwanted occurrences from happening. You put your child in a safe car seat to prevent severe injury in a car accident. You put sunscreen on your skin to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. You floss and brush your teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Did you know that it is also important to start your young child off on a good start for oral health? As babies go through rapid growth and development in their first years of life, it is vital that you make oral health care for your child a priority.
Getting your child off to a good start in oral health is simple. One of the very first things you can do is wipe down your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth each day. This will help to remove bacteria from the gums and keep your baby’s mouth fresh. Once your baby can sit up by herself, you can give her a soft-bristled toothbrush to chew on. This should be done under parental supervision! Allowing your baby to chew on a toothbrush designed for young mouths will not only feel good on her gums, but it will do some cleaning in the process.
You should also make early dental visits a priority. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that babies begin visiting the dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting inside their mouths. While this may seem like a very young age to start dental visits, the goal of these early appointments is to help your child feel comfortable at the dentist’s office.
Early dental appointments are meant to be fun for young children. Not much work or cleaning will be done, as these appointments are set up so that your child will be introduced to the dentist, hygienist, dental tools, and the atmosphere of a dental practice. These early appointments allow your dentist to learn about your baby’s teething process, pacifier use, thumb sucking, feeding, and sleeping habits. All of this information will allow your dentist to gain a reference for your child’s oral health. This early information will make any future concerns stand out to your dentist as she or he will have a baseline to go from.
At Peninsula Dentistry, we understand how important it is to make young children comfortable at the dentist. Our practice offers friendly and compassionate care for patients of all ages. Call today to schedule your child’s first appointment.