New parents have a lot of information coming at them from a variety of sources. It starts when they find out they’re going to be parents and rarely ends until the children become parents themselves. While this article won’t be able to stem that flow of information, it will give new parents simple, easy-to-understand information on dentistry and small children.
What to Expect at the First Visit
Pediatricians and dentists recommend a child visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting or by their first birthday. The first visit will include an oral examination by the dentist to check the child’s oral growth and development. The dentist will also check for any signs of problems, such as baby bottle tooth decay and finger sucking. If the dentist finds problems, he or she will develop a treatment plan with the parents. A gentle cleaning may also be part of the visit if the child is old enough.
Tooth decay is one of the more common issues dentists find in these first visits with young children. Early stages can be treated with fluoride treatments and supplements, changes to the child’s diet, and daily brushing. Later stages of tooth decay are treated with the same procedures as adult tooth decay. Bonding, dental fillings, root canals, and crowns are common treatments for tooth decay among both children and adults. You can click here to learn more about each of these types of dentistry procedures.
Teaching Oral Hygiene
Most importantly, the dentist will teach new parents how to teach good oral hygiene habits to their children. He or she will explain how to clean a child’s teeth at each stage of growth and discuss common ways of protecting new teeth, such as with fluoride treatments. As your baby grows, it’s suggested that he or she visits the dentist every six months to a year.
Establishing good oral hygiene practices early in life helps children avoid serious health issues that can develop from tooth and gum decay. If they don’t already, parents should get into the same good oral hygiene practices to model these healthy behaviors to their children.