“When should I take my baby to the dentist?” is often one of the most common questions asked by parents. Most parents are often surprised when told that it is recommended to take their child to visit a dentist by the time their first tooth appears. As parents, it is important to understand that babies can develop cavities on their tooth as early as when they develop their first tooth.
As per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first visit to the dentist should be by his/her first birthday. The first dental visit is more for the parents than the child, as parents are then made aware that good dental hygiene is not limited to prevention of cavities. It is during this visit that parents learn about various oral health practices crucial to ensure their child’s dental hygiene. Parents are made aware that;
- Milk teeth start to fall at the age of 6 and continue to be replaced by permanent teeth till the age of 12 years in a child
- Milk teeth play a vital role in aesthetics, phonetics, mastication and maintaining the size and shape of jaws and also as a guide in the eruption of permanent teeth.
- Maintenance of healthy milk teeth from the time it appears in the mouth
- About teething
- The importance of healthy eating and good oral hygiene
- Various undesired oral habits that can be harmful to teeth development like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, nail-biting, etc.
- About the compulsory dental and oral checkup, once in 6 months, as a preventive and early management of problems
During the first visit, the dentist will check your child’s existing teeth, gums, alignment etc.
Another common concern parents have with regards to dental care for their kids, is whether to consult with a dentist or a pediatric dentist. Either type of dentist is capable of addressing a child’s oral care needs, however, it’s highly recommended that a pediatric dentist is consulted as he or she may better understand a child’s behavior that may help put the child at ease.
During your baby’s first visit make sure that as parents, you have all your concerns addressed.
Aster Clinic, Karama (UMC)