While teething might be uncomfortable for parents, it’s a sign that your baby is going to be ready for the dentist soon. According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should schedule a dental check-up about six months after the first baby tooth appears.
But scheduling that appointment is just the first step. Here are some other tips to help your baby get started off to a great dental future:
- Look into using a pediatric dentist. These dentists have two to three years of additional specialty training after dental school, and often they might limit their practice to treating children only. You can also look into family practices such as Sprout Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics that can accommodate the whole family.
- Make visiting the dentist a positive experience. While your baby might not remember each dental visit, get in the habit of making it a fun and positive experience for your child. As your child grows and begins to remember the dentist, that positive reinforcement will ensure that there’s no undue stress or fear.
- Start cleaning your baby’s teeth early. You don’t have to brush very hard since your baby’s gums will be soft, but you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush that’s been specifically designed for infants. Brush your baby’s teeth at least once a day at bedtime.
- Give proper care to your child’s baby teeth. Primary teeth are important to help your child learn how to speak clearly and chew naturally. They’re also providing a guide for future permanent teeth to follow.
- It’s ok for your baby to suck his thumb or pacifier — but not for too long. We know that your child may get comfort from a sucking habit, and many children stop these habits on their own. It’s important you keep an eye out for these habits past the age of three, though. If sucking still continues, you’ll want to see your pediatric dentist.
- Start the six-month check-up schedule. Just like adults, children should see a dentist every six months. Your dentist will be able to not only work on preventing cavities, but also keep an eye out for any future problems that might arise based on how your child’s jaw and mouth are growing. You can also ask your pediatric dentist for a plan that includes how often your child should visit based on your goals for your child’s oral health.
Seeing your baby’s dentist is important for your child’s oral health, but it’s an important opportunity for you to ask questions, learn good habits to start, and receive information that can help you be on top of dental care between visits. At Sprout, Dr. Banks and the team will outline a treatment plan, time of treatment expected, and the approximate cost so that you’re prepared for the future.
And make sure to share how things are going with your child’s pediatrician. You’ll be helping everyone contributing to your child’s care make the most of each kind of treatment.
Schedule a pediatric dental visit for your child today contacting Sprout Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics online or by calling 281-359-5551 or 281-668-8408.