When should your child first see a dentist?
You can take your child at a younger age, but experts recommend taking him or her within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months at the latest. For instance, bring them along with the rest of the family to have their check-ups and let them experience the sights and sounds of the dentist. We can gradually get them used to the place!
At this time, the dentist can give you information on:
• Baby bottle tooth decay
• Infant feeding practices
• Mouth cleaning
• Pacifier habits
• Finger-sucking habits
• Prepare your child
If possible, schedule morning appointments so young children are alert and fresh. Talk to your preschooler or older child by giving him or her a general idea of what to expect. Explain why it is important to go to the dentist. Above all, help to build excitement and understanding.
The first visit:
Your child’s primary check-up is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. A first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in.
• The beginning visit often lasts 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your child’s age and compliance. Sometimes a quick ride in the chair is all that is done at the first visit.
• A visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development, this includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains
• In addition, one of our friendly dentists may show you and your child proper home cleaning such as flossing, and advise you on the need for fluoride.
How to protect your children’s teeth at home:
• Before teeth come in, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth
• After that, start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a very small amount of children’s toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) when your child’s first tooth appears
• Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Don’t give children a bottle of milk, juice, or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when put down to nap
• In addition, try to limit the time your child has a bottle. Your child should empty a bottle in 5 to 6 minutes or less
• Help your child brush his or her own teeth until age 7 or 8.
Try to limit foods and treats that increase tooth decay. This includes hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice. The fiber in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean. Juice can expose the teeth to sugar.
If you’d like to make an appointment, please phone us on (02) 4324 1181 or make an appointment online.