When you have a baby, there are so many aspects of their care. While you are making appointments with their physician, you should also put your dentist on the list. Many people think that children’s oral care isn’t important because their teeth aren’t permanent. However, their oral care can impact their entire life.
Establishing good oral health habits early in life is crucial for your baby’s well-being. The first dental exam is a huge milestone in your child’s dental journey.
The Significance of Baby’s First Dental Exam
Your baby’s first dental exam sets the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.
When you take your baby to the dentist, their dental team can establish care. While they may not have problems initially, your child can develop issues over time. This is where regular checkups and your dentist can help your child.
Regular dental checkups enable the dentist to identify any potential problems early on. They may notice tooth decay when their first baby teeth come in. Alternatively, they can see if your baby’s teeth have any improper growth or other issues.
Taking your child to the dentist establishes a “dental home” for them. This will make sure that they receive preventative care and timely treatment. Additionally, these early dental appointments allow your baby to become familiar with a dental office. Over time, this will reduce their fear and anxiety with the dentist.
What to Expect During Baby’s First Dental Exam
Understanding what happens during your baby’s first dental exam can help reduce any concerns.
First, your dentist will gently examine your baby’s mouth. This is where they will check for proper growth and development. They will examine their mouth for and any signs of decay or other oral health issues.
During this appointment, the dentist will provide guidance on proper oral hygiene techniques. For example, they will tell you how to clean your baby’s gums and teeth when they come in. You’ll receive valuable information on teething, nutrition, and age-appropriate dental care to support your baby’s oral health at home.
Based on your child’s oral health, feeding habits, and pacifier use, the dentist will assess the risk of cavities and offer strategies for prevention.
Preparing Your Baby for a Positive Dental Experience
Taking steps to prepare your baby for their first dental exam can help create a positive experience.
Start cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth or infant toothbrush even before the first tooth emerges. This will introduce their dental care early. With this step, you can improve their oral health and set them on a good path.
Furthermore, you can help your child become more familiar with the dentist. Bring your child to your dental visits to familiarize them with the dental office, staff, and equipment. Additionally, you can bring your child’s preferred comfort item for their exam. A favorite toy, blanket, or pacifier can do wonders for their anxiety.
Finally, choose a dentist that is experienced in treating children. They will make sure that your child is in a friendly, safe environment.