The recommendation for a child’s first visit is around the first birthday. Every child has teeth that come in at different times and so maybe a more accurate recommendation is when they have at least 4 teeth showing in their mouth.
The first appointment the dentist is looking for signs of tooth malformation, tissue lesions or visible cavities. The baby sometimes cries when the dentist is looking in their mouth and that is normal. It is better to take care of cavities earlier so that the baby doesn’t end up with tooth abscesses which is more painful.
The best way to help the health of the baby’s teeth is to brush them when they first appear in the mouth 2 times a day. The best time to cleans your babies teeth is sometime in the morning and right before they go to bed. Many times our children do not want us to put a tooth brush in their mouth. Its a matter of introducing it slowly and without toothpaste. If they are averse to a toothbrush then use a clean washcloth. Once they get use to you brushing their teeth then slowly introduce toothpaste. Use less then a size of a pea of toothpaste. Remember it takes sometimes 5 to 10 times of going over an area before the plaque can be removed and that is the film that the bacteria lie in and they are what causes cavities and gingivitis.
The second thing that some parents don’t realize is there is thousands of different kinds of bacteria in the mouth and some cause cavities or gum decease. The level of bacteria differ in each person but studies show that whomever is the main caregiver of your child that their level of bacteria shows up in your child’s mouth. So if it is the mother, father or nanny then that can effect the level of cavities in the child. So it is important that the caregiver have no cavities or gum decease. If the caregiver has a higher chance of getting cavities then you should brush the babies teeth 3 times a day. The third thing
The third thing of course is the amount of times the baby is exposed to sugars when they have teeth in their mouth. Of course the healthiest is nursing from the mother. If we need to bottle feed the baby then the best is to not let the baby fall asleep with milk or fruit juice in the bottle. If it is helpful for them to fall asleep drinking something then water is the best option. Also using pacifiers causes narrowing of the jaw and that can cause sleep apnea, snoring and needing braces down the road.
If you have further questions please come in and see us at Care Creek Dental and we will help your have a fighting chance against cavities and gingivitis.