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When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?

  • When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist?

Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. A general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Many first visits are nothing more than introductory icebreakers to get your child familiar with the dentist and the practice. If your child is frightened, uncomfortable or non-cooperative, a rescheduling may be necessary. Parents should be patient, calm, and use reassuring communication with their child in these situations. Schedule the appointment earlier in the day when your child is alert and fresh.  There is dental care you can do before their first tooth. Here’s a helpful timeline for children’s dental care:

Before Baby Teeth

 

Before Teeth Erupt

  • Use a soft gauze to gently wipe your baby’s gums after every feeding.
  • Healthy gums = healthy baby teeth
  • Ease the pain of teething with a wet gauze or a cool teething ring

 

 

First Tooth

 

After the First Tooth

  • Lower two front teeth are usually the first to come in between 6- 12 months
  • Dental visits should start no later than the 1st birthday
  • All 20 baby teeth should come in by age 3 and parents should start scheduling regular cleanings too
  • Read books about the dentist or watch children shows to get familiar with dental checkups

 

 

tooth_decaySippy Cup & Tooth Decay

  • If your child walks around or goes to bed with sippy cups/bottle, they should contain only water
  • Juices, milk, & formula have sugar that will gather around teeth and can lead to tooth decay
  • Tooth decay can start as soon as teeth erupt and 7% of kids lose at least one tooth to decay by age 17
  • Tooth decay is the most common and almost entirely preventable childhood disease
  • Constant bottle sucking can lead to improper alignment of erupting teeth

 

 

 

brushing-01Set an Example For Healthy Habits

  • Brush your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt
  • Use soft-bristled toothbrush and water after every meal
  • Only use pea-size amount of child’s toothpaste after he/she can spit it out around age 2
  • Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene
  • Show them how to brush and make up games or songs when brushing to keep it fun
  • Give healthy, nutritious meals that are low in sugar

 

 

losing_teeth

 

Losing Baby Teeth

  • Children normally start losing teeth around age 6
  • Upper and lower front teeth are the first to go
  • Second molars may not be lost until age 12

 

 

big_teeth-01

 

Permanent Teeth Come In

  • Permanent teeth typically start coming in around age 6 to 7
  • Upper and lower molars are the first to come in
  • Wisdom teeth are the last to erupt around age 17 to 21

 

Dr. William Moore
I'm Dr. William Moore; a general dentist in Roanoke, Virginia. I'm new to blogging but I've always enjoyed sharing helpful tips and brushing up on the facts on oral care. Feel free to ask me questions and comment on our blog posts. Like Dr. William Moore General Dentistry on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @DrWMoore.

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