As a general rule, your child should visit the dentist within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth or prior to the baby’s first birthday.
How to prepare
It’s important for the first visit to be a positive experience for your child. Don’t build it up into a big deal, but don’t spring it on him or her either. Let the pace be relaxed and unhurried. Show your child that a visit to your dentist is normal, interesting and pleasant. You may want to read a book about going to your dentist with your child or “play dentist.”
You know your child and are, therefore, the best judge of how to get him or her ready for the first visit. An anxious parent can transfer anxiety to the child. If you yourself feel uneasy about going to the dentist, try hard not to let your child know. In general, be positive and matter-of-fact about it, as you would with any important new experience.
What to expect
If the first visit is not an emergency, the dental team may spend some time introducing your child to the office, staff and equipment. There will be an examination and a discussion with you about your child’s diet, brushing and flossing. Your dentist may also want to have your child’s teeth cleaned and a fluoride gel or solution applied.
Dentists prefer to see very young children when they are rested and co-operative; you should determine the best time for your child.
Some dentists prefer to see the child without the parents, while others allow parents into the examination room. Your dentist has a lot of experience in dealing with children and parents. Let him or her decide what to try first.
Baby teeth are important
As a sign of general development, an infant’s first tooth is a significant event. Starting between 7-12 months of age teething occurs almost constantly for about two years.
First teeth are vital in helping your child eat and speak properly. Healthy teeth also play an important role in how children look and feel about themselves.
First teeth hold the space for permanent teeth and are necessary and help guide them into the correct position. They also contribute to healthy jaw development.
Some baby teeth will “fall out” between ages 6-8. Others will not be lost until 10-12 years of age. Permanent teeth can become crowded when baby teeth are removed before they would normally fall out.
For more information talk to your Dentist or visit ManitobaDentist.ca
Remember, baby teeth are important! For more information about your baby’s first dental visit, talk to your Dentist. They care about you and your teeth.
This article is a paid advertorial on behalf of the Manitoba Dental Association.