Children ideally should start seeing the dentist at age 1 or when they get their first tooth. Not much will be done at these first visits, other than introducing them to the environment of the dental office and discussing dental care and recommendations with their parents. Generally kids will have their first cleaning around 3 years of age, depending on what they can tolerate.
Children should start using toothpaste as soon as they develop a tooth. There are various baby-friendly toothpastes that will help keep your kiddos smile bright and shiny. Kids toothpastes will list what ages they are meant for; generally, they are grouped by either 0-3 years or 3+years of age. It is best to find a flavor and brand that your child enjoys and be consistent with brushing their teeth every morning and night so it becomes part of their routine. If your child is independent and wants to brush their teeth by themselves, encourage it! Once they have finished, then it will be the adults turn to make sure all of the teeth were brushed properly. Children do not have the manual dexterity to properly brush their teeth until they are able to tie their shoelaces, so make sure you still assist until then.
Infants need oral care too! Before baby gets their first tooth, it is important to wipe out their mouth with a damp gauze or soft wash cloth to help prevent thrush and keep their mouth clean. This should be done after every feeding, or at least twice a day if it is not feasible to clean their mouth every time they eat. We know that infants sometimes need to eat nearly all day when they have growth spurts, and cleaning every time is not going to happen! In these cases, twice a day will suffice.
It is important to instill regular oral care habits in our children so that they will carry this skill into their adult lives. Children who receive regular oral care have a much lower risk of developing decay or tooth infections. Regular visits to your dental office at Dyras Dental will create the opportunity for us to catch problems before they turn into more serious issues. It is true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Our office sees children regularly for routine care. We put a priority on making sure that our treatments are safe and on managing apprehensive kids properly so that our youngest patients can receive safe and compassionate care. If your child is not able to tolerate routine care due to negative past experiences or more advanced treatment needs, we work with various local pediatric offices that can help them safely get the care they need. We enjoy working with children as we have seen that it helps set them up for a lifetime of dental health!
We love meeting new patients and kiddos! We look forward to seeing you at your next visit at Dyras Dental!