Your first baby dental visit may be between 6 months to 12 months. Even so, you need to prepare your baby to be comfortable in the presence of a dentist.
Normally, the first teeth come out after 6 months, and maybe the best time to take your baby to a dentist. Not only, will the dentist give you advice on infant feeding practices but also mouth cleaning?
Importantly, the milk teeth will come out to allow permanent teeth but still, they need to be cleaned to prevent decay and cavities.
When sure on the appointment date try to schedule the visit in the morning when the child is relaxed. Obviously, this is the time the child is alert and not tired.
How to make the Dental Visit Calm for your Baby
Remember children are easy at reading body language and if you have any fears or anxieties they can detect them. Try to remain calm and discuss any fears with the dentist. Subsequently, you staying calm in the dentist’s room will calm your baby as the dentist works on him/her.
The first visit is important to your child as it will determine how he will handle the other visit.
Importantly, you need to ensure the child remains calm. It will be easy for the child if they feel comfortable and relaxed with the dentist.
To prevent any anxiety or aggressive behavior ensure the visit lasts between 35-40 minutes, it shouldn’t take long. Moreover, you can make the visit fun by carrying along her favorite toy to keep her calm and relaxed. She will associate visiting the dentist with memorable moments.
Without a doubt, for the first visit give a brief medical history of your baby to the doctor. If you have noticed your baby is usually fearful or anxious around doctors, inform your dentist so that he knows how to handle the situation. He may try to be playful with the child first to make him/her relax before proceeding with the examination.
I remember once one of my children was fearful of the white coat doctors wear and every time we went for checkups he would cry. But later on, when we went the next time we found the examination area had been drawn cartoons on the walls which kept him busy and relax until we were done. Not only did the doctor get the whole attention of my child but also did the examination without any struggle.
Dental Exam for Different Baby Ages and Reactions
For good dental health, we recommended regular dental care. Although try to make the experience, short, fun, and calm as babies of different ages react differently.
For instance, babies who are very young tend to be attached to their parents and do not want to be taken by someone else. This may make them cranky and uncontrollable.
A dental exam is crucial to your baby as the dentist is able to clean and check for any decay before it becomes serious.
From 6-24 months the babies may be hard to let go of their parents during the examination hence the dentist should first calm them and make the experience comfortable.
By now this age group is used to seeing the dentist for the various visits and may be easier to calm down compared to 6-24 months babies.
This age group is still attached to the parents but may agree to be examined by the dentist without much struggle. They are easy to talk to and understand what they are told.
As much as they are still developing socially, a 4-year-old child will be more cooperative with the dentist compared to a 3-year-old.
He will agree to any procedure being done like filling a cavity as the parent is within.
What Entails a Dental Examination?
The dentist when doing a dental exam he may want to clean the teeth, evaluate and correct any cavities that he/she comes across.
A full dental exam will including checking of the teeth, jaw, gum, and oral tissues. In case of any tartar or plaque, the dentist may recommend general cleaning and polishing.
If the decay is serious or the tooth erupting in the wrong places an X-ray may be suggested before advising any further.
The dentist may also have tools and show you how to clean your baby’s teeth with toothpaste, the kind of toothbrush depending on the age and flossing methods.
The Baby’s toothbrush should have a soft bristle to avoid mouth sores.
How Many Times Should One Take The Baby for Dental Visit?
The frequently the visits the better as the child will get used to them.
Clearly, the dentist may decide to see your child after every 6 months but in case of any issue, you can also book an appointment before.
Some may even prefer after 3 months so that they check on the oral health and development of your baby’s teeth.
Tips on How to Clean Baby’s Teeth at Home
You can use a clean piece of cloth, a toothbrush, or teething products depending on their age. For a baby, without teeth, you can use a damp clean cloth to wipe the gum.
The child may not be able to spit the toothpaste out when the first tooth appears hence use a soft bristle toothbrush with a tiny bit of toothpaste.
Additionally when he /she is able to spit out the toothpaste at around 3 years increase the toothpaste amount.
Avoid giving your baby sweet drinks or milk before bed, let them sleep after brushing their teeth to avoid cavities.
Take care of their teeth as they grow by not giving sweets, candies, junk which can cause tooth decay instead give fresh fruit juice.
Around 7 years allow them to start cleaning their own teeth and let them watch you and follow the correct pattern to ensure they are cleaning well.
Dental care is very important and as soon as your child’s first teeth appear ensure to clean and go for dental visits.
If care is not taken the child may start having tooth decay and cavities. Proper cleaning is necessary for good oral health when babies start teething.
During the dental visit work with the dentist. More so, ensure your baby is well-rested, has had a light meal, and is calm to make the experience fun and comfortable.