Children scare easily, whether it is an unusual shadow becoming a monster or a gust of wind being perceived as a whispering ghost. The same feelings can arise when the child has to sit under a bright light with a stranger poking into his/her mouth, but this can be avoided.
Dr. Deanna Risos is a Chula Vista dentist who works very well with children!
Ideally, children should visit the dentist for the first time right after the first tooth erupts, which is between the ages of 6 months and 1 year. Some parents put it off until the child is 2 or 3 years, or even later, but you risk anxiety, plaque buildup, and possibly baby bottle tooth decay that may make the first visit dental visit more involving than it should be. This may, in turn, make your child anxious about future visits.
So, When Should Your Child Start Visiting a Dentist?
It is recommended that you schedule your child’s first dental visit before his/her first birthday. After this check-up, the dentist will suggest when the follow-ups should be, usually between 3 months and one year.
This is important for several reasons:
● The children will become familiar with the dental checkup procedure at an early age.
● The dentist can recommend preventive treatments for tooth decay – use of sealants or teeth painting with fluoride varnish to toughen enamel.
● The dentist can offer tips for proper brushing and nutrition for oral health.
Many parents assume that it is not very important to care for baby teeth because they will eventually fall out. But this is a big misconception. Although you may not be aware, your child’s adult (permanent) teeth are developing under the milk teeth.
Primary teeth may just be placeholders for the permanent teeth, but they are still a part of your child’s body. This means that they’re susceptible to decay and other problems that may extend to the underlying soft and hard tissue, affecting the development of permanent teeth.
During the first few dental visits of your child, the pediatric dentist will check to ensure that the adult teeth are developing properly under the primary teeth and that your child’s smile remains intact.
At-Home Care is Also Important
Before your child’s teeth begin to erupt, you will be using a piece of soft cloth to clean his/her gums and mouth. But after the milk teeth start erupting, your dentist will recommend a soft-bristle brush and appropriate toothpaste that you will use to clean your baby’s mouth, using a circular motion, twice a day.
You should also prepare a list of questions on your child’s dental care to ask the dentist during these visits.