When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?
When a child is born, there are numerous questions that parents ponder about. When should my child start seeing a dentist? Is definitely one of the most important questions parents ask.
It is recommended that the first visit should be a little after the first tooth starts to show, generally six months after. You may think that it doesn’t make sense to go this early. However, for your child to have the proper checkup and good oral hygiene throughout, the sooner you take them the better. Taking them from an early age will also get your child accustomed to going to the dentist and slowly rid any anxiety they may have about visits to the dentist.
Preparing Your Child For The Visit
Taking a child to the dentist isn’t an easy task. Especially, when it comes to toddlers. It may be hard to explain to them exactly where you are taking them or what is going on. Which results in them usually being fussy throughout the visit and possibly afterward also. However, you can be prepared at your end beforehand. Speak to a family dentist in Sterling Heights, MI and discuss with them what to expect. Be sure to take with you all your child’s medical record.
What Typically Happens During The First Visit at Sterling Heights, MI Dentist?
The first visit to the dentist is usually an introductory session in which Dr. Farhat will examine your child and gets acquainted with them. This allows your child to get comfortable with the environment. If the child is non-cooperative or too fussy then the dentist may recommend rescheduling the session. The last thing they want is for your child to associate their practice with the feeling of discomfort in any way.
The initial few visits are short, usually lasting 15-30 minutes. If your child is old enough to understand what is going on then visits can be smoother. You can discuss with them beforehand what is going to happen so they are more comfortable. Usually for toddlers, one of the parents is asked to hold the child while they are being examined.
Family dentists say that the first visit varies depending on the age of the child, but generally consists of:
- A complete oral examination which includes the examination of teeth, gums, jaw, and oral tissues
- If any plaque is present at the time then a gentle cleaning is performed to remove plaque and polish the teeth
- An X-ray
- A demonstration for the parents on how to properly brush their child’s teeth
- An assessment of the amount of fluoride that the child may need
If you have any questions or concerns then you can ask the dentist at any point during the visit.
How Often Should My Child Visit The Dentist?
For both children and adults, it is recommended that they visit a dentist every 6 months. This will help them maintain a good oral hygiene regimen.
What Can I Do At Home For Good Oral Health Of My Child?
It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child gets the proper oral care when they are young. Since the child can’t take care of it by themselves. A parent should do the following:
- After feeding, clean their gum with a soft, damp cloth.
- As their teeth start to develop and come, make sure to brush them. You can find brushes designed for toddlers that use soft bristles. You can start brushing with just water at first and then consult a doctor as they turn 2 to see if you can use toothpaste or not.
- The action of sucking tends to lead to misalignment of the teeth and can even cause decay especially if your child is constantly sucking on a baby bottle. It is recommended that you closely monitor your child and don’t allow them to excessively suck on bottles and pacifiers. Also, don’t give them any bottles to drink from as they are going to sleep at any point of the day.
- It is important to brush their teeth at night, as the flow of saliva is high at that time of the day. If not cleaned there is a higher chance that the child may develop a cavity in their teeth.
- Brush with your child, the best way to show them the importance of brushing their teeth is to do it with them.