When Should I Start Taking My Baby to the Dentist?

When Should I Start Taking My Baby to the Dentist?

We all know how important it is to go to the dentist for a regular checkup, but when should a child’s first checkup happen? Babies aren’t born with teeth, so some parents may not know that oral care is still important in this early stage of life. Unfortunately, little teeth are vulnerable to the same oral health problems as children and adults. 

A new baby means a new dental provider, and our staff of dental professionals at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, are accepting new patients. Your provider at My Kidz Dentist understands how to care for each of your child’s teeth and can give you the necessary guidance to help keep your baby’s oral health a top priority. 

Do babies need to see the dentist? 

This may come as a surprise for many, but your baby should visit the dentist by their first birthday, or the eruption of their first tooth, whichever event happens first. Before bringing your child for their first dental appointment, it’s important to use simple steps to protect their oral health before their teeth emerge. 

Start by using a soft cloth dampened with warm or tepid water to gently wipe the surfaces of your baby’s mouth. This is particularly important after feeding, as food particles can linger in the baby's mouth, compromising the health of your baby’s gums. 

The eruption of baby teeth also brings teething — an action meant to address the irritation of maturing young gums. Teething toys are widely available, but other baby gum-friendly options are available that can help you get through this time. Smoothing a wet gauze or cold spoon over the irritated gums can help your baby to have an easier time dealing with teething.

How do I brush a baby’s teeth?

Once your baby’s teeth are in, the first thing you’ll want to do is gush with love and wonder as your little one grows. The next thing you’ll do is wonder how to brush those precious, tiny teeth. The answer is simple: Once your baby’s teeth are in, cloths are out, and soft toothbrushes are in. Using a gentle touch, clean their teeth with water and a soft toothbrush. 

Do not use toothpaste with fluoride until your child is at least 3 years old. 

I have a question about my child’s oral health.

We have all the answers you’ll need to keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy. After your baby’s first visit with their provider, we’ll need to see them every six months — just as you need your bi-annual dental cleaning, all other teeth do, too. As you continue to bring your baby in for their cleanings and checkups, they’ll get more comfortable with coming to the dentist, and before you know it, they’ll be sitting in the chair all by themselves!

As your child grows, their needs will change, and they’ll be more independent. Until they’re able to manage brushing twice per day on their own, it’s important to supervise very young children who might not clean their teeth properly. 

After your child is in the habit of twice-daily brushing, regular flossing will be the next challenge. Child’s flossers are a great start, and your provider at My Kidz Dentist can help you choose a floss and flossing device for your little one. 

Having a baby is just the start of a new chapter and one of the best reasons to need a new toothbrush. If your child’s teeth are coming in, we’d like for you to come in. Call your provider here at My Kidz Dentist, or book an appointment with us online. 

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