As a parent you are responsible for your child's health and well being, which is a huge thing. One of the important milestones in a baby's life is the apparition of the first tooth. As soon as the baby can chew, they can graduate to solid foods, which open a new array of textures and tastes for them. But it also opens the door towards tooth decay. This is why you need to take the little one to their first dentist appointment.
When should your child visit the dentist for the first time?
According to the Pediatric Dentistry Center your child's first dental visit should be after their first tooth emerges or around their first birthday. At this first visit the pediatric dentist is going to evaluate the development of the jaw and the teeth. They can identify potential problems and advise on how to avoid tooth decay.
During this first visit the dentist is going to teach the parents how to brush their child's teeth and how to start teaching the child basic oral health habits. As soon as your baby has a tooth, it needs to be brushed. The little one will quickly get used with this routine, which is going to stick with them when they grow up.
The pediatric dentist can also advise on the use of the pacifier, which can alter the palate and teeth development if it is used too much. Thumb sucking can also become a problem for the baby, as it can alter the development of their teeth.
Prepare the child for their first dental checkup
As soon as the child starts to understand what you say and becomes interested in their body, you can play with them a lot of games. Teach them to point to their teeth or open their mouth wide, which are useful things to know before a dental checkup.
You can try to play a game that mimics what happens during a dental appointment, so your child gets used to staying put on a chair, opening their mouth and allowing the dentist to check their teeth.
Control your own demeanor
Adults are always nervous in the dentist's office, which is bad for your child. The little one is going to pick up your mood and if you are stressed out, they will also become nervous. When you go to the dentist try to be relaxed and calm. This will help the child stay calm. Explain them what is going to happen, so they won't be surprised.
Pick a pediatric dentist
Regular dentists can and do care for kids, but pediatric dentists are specialized in dealing with children, from toddlers to teens. Picking a specialized doctor can help your child, as they will be welcomed by a child-friendly office and experienced staff.
Apart from experience with kids, the dentist you pick needs to provide flexible appointment hours, should be near your home and provide emergency assistance if needed.
Introducing your child to the dentist and oral hygiene practices as soon as possible ensures the little one will have strong, healthy teeth and a beautiful smile all the way into adulthood.