I get asked by new parents all the time, “At what age should I bring my child in for their first cleaning?”. Most people are pretty surprised to hear that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first visit be when their first baby teeth erupt. It’s important for dentists to check the teeth and gums for any problems even at such a young age.
Here are some tips to help you have a great first visit to the dentist:
1) Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt. Milk and baby’s formula surprisingly has a lot of sugar in it. Make sure you brush it off your child’s teeth to prevent bacteria from attacking the sugar.
2) Try to stay away from the juices. Although juice is usually marketed as nutritious, in most cases it’s no better than sugar water. If your kids really like juice and you are worried about completely omitting it from their diet, try diluting it with tap water.
3) Let us do the dental talk. We see kids all of the time at McLean Family Dentistry. We talk all about “sugar bugs” and how we have to work hard to keep them out of our mouth. Sometimes talking about a dental visit before the appointment can create some unwanted and unexpected anxiety. You are always welcome to accompany your child back in the room. As they watch their favorite cartoon or movie, we work away. Once they are done they get a prize from the treasure chest. Don’t be surprised if your kid begs to come back to the dentist!