When should your children first see the dentist for treatment? We sometimes find parents in Dallas, TX, surprised to learn that these visits start early, as soon as the first baby teeth arrive! In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the importance of preventive treatment for children of all ages, and how you can help safeguard your little one’s smile.
The Initial Checkup
The first baby tooth should arrive around age one, and we suggest a visit with the dentist around the same time. During this exam, we will get to know you and your child, and make sure the teeth are erupting properly. We will also discuss proper oral healthcare. Even babies need to have those first teeth cleaned, either with an age-appropriate toothbrush or a bit of cloth or gauze. As they grow older, we will discuss the need for routine checkup and cleaning visits, helping your child avoid baby bottle tooth decay and keep their new teeth healthy and bright.
Routine Exams and Cleanings
At around age two, children should begin undergoing routine checkups and cleanings every six months. During these visits, we will carefully examine the smile and identify the presence of decay and gingivitis early on, so we can administer treatment to manage these issues and protect the smile. Remember, even though baby teeth to fall out eventually, this could happen months or even years after a cavity forms, so waiting only means an increased risk of painful infection.
Our team will also clean the teeth, which means we remove all plaque buildup from the smile with a manual tool and an ultrasonic scaling device. Plaque cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone, and unless we address this buildup, the risk of cavities and gingivitis only increases with time. These visits have also been shown to reduce dental anxiety in children, instill good habits, and help them better understand their oral health.
In between these routine office visits, you should help your child clean his or her teeth at home. Children should brush twice a day, when they wake up and again before going to bed. Each session should take about two minutes, and little ones three and older need to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Once there are teeth sitting side-by-side, flossing is vital as well, as flossing removes the bits of food trapped between teeth that a toothbrush alone cannot. If you have any questions about that first visit, or keeping your child’s smile healthy, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Children’s Dentistry?
We would like to help you and your family enjoy optimal oral health. For more information, schedule an appointment by calling Gentle Smiles in Dallas, TX, today at 972-329-7645 (972-329-SMILE).