CT Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your baby in for their first dental visit around ages 12 to 18 months. Ideally, an initial visit should happen once their first tooth begins to come in, just so we can make sure everything is going well. Primary molars begin to erupt from the gums after a year, so you definitely want to make an appointment by then.
As your child develops, we want to begin instilling healthy habits at a young age to prevent your child from getting any cavities. An initial visit is a friendly gathering of information in a non-emergency circumstance that gives the dentist a chance to check for early signs of decay.
During an initial visit, the dentist explains preventative dental care measures, and discusses nursing and feeding with you. The doctor will demonstrate an easy way to clean your child’s teeth and answer any questions you may have.
After the initial visit, regular check-ups should happen about every six months. Until visits to the dentist begin, though, you can use a wet washcloth to wipe the gums, lips, and tongue each time you wash your baby’s face. Wiping the mouth makes the baby’s mouth feel fresh and clean, which will be appreciated, whether or not your baby can find the words to express it.
As soon as the first tooth makes an appearance, you will want to start brushing with just a tiny smear of kid’s fluoride toothpaste two times every day. Be careful not to let the child swallow any of the toothpaste, because fluoride at such a young age can cause fluorosis or discolored enamel. But the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests using a small amount daily due to the fact that it can reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay by up to 30%.
CT Pediatric Dentistry has 3 locations throughout Connecticut for your convenience, so schedule an appointment at our West Hartford, North Windham, or Unionville offices when that first tooth makes an appearance.