When should my child visit the dentist?

February 19, 2015

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month?

One of the most common questions from a parent is, “When should my child visit the dentist?” A child’s teeth start erupting when they are young. On average a child will be 6 months old when the first tooth erupts. A child should visit his dentist 2 times a year from the age of 1 and up. But, more importantly, let’s talk about everyday care. Did you know that an infant’s teeth are just as susceptible to decay as an adult’s teeth!

A parent can help protect their child’s teeth from decay by brushing daily with an age appropriate toothpaste and soft bristled brush. Once enough teeth erupt (usually by the age of 2) flossing should be introduced. Remember, a child is typically about 7 years old before they can properly brush and floss without help!

Limit snacking and do not put an infant to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. It is also important that young children do not sip on milk and juices throughout the day. Water is the only drink that can be sipped on all day long without causing any harm to the teeth.

Cavities in children need repaired just like our (yours and my) teeth do. One of the most frequent questions we hear from a parent/ caregiver is: “Why should I pay to fix his baby tooth when he is going to lose it?” There are many reasons! First of all, decay can become painful. Second, the baby teeth are the map for the permanent teeth to erupt. Third, teeth are vital to speech development.

sealantAsk your dental professional about dental sealants. Sealants placement is recommended on the child’s permanent molars within 6 months of eruption. Permanent molars form with deep grooves and crevices in them that are prone to decay when a child is very young. A dental sealant is a coating that fills in these grooves and crevices protecting the teeth from decay. The dental sealant is not permanent and very simple to place thus protecting the child’s teeth during the most vulnerable time in his life.

As always,
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring.