Bringing a child into this world isn’t easy and along with it comes some very important steps parents must take to ensure their child’s health. One step that may often go overlooked in this process is a visit during the child’s first year. It is essential to make that first dental appointment for your child will only help the process of protecting his or her teeth for years to come.
One of the most common questions dentists are asked is, “how early should I start taking care of my child’s teeth?” In short, as soon as their teeth start to appear, which typically is around six months. According to the American Dental Association, a baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. Those baby teeth that begin coming through the gums around six months help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth. Children can still easily develop tooth decay the their baby teeth at such a young age. Even once children are old enough to brush their own teeth, they should still be supervised to ensure the teeth are getting the proper care they need.
Scheduling your child’s first dental visit early on can help prevent early childhood cavities and establish a dental home for the child. Which also helps to determine how susceptible the child may be to decay. Not only will your dentist provide you with an exam, but also useful instruction on better oral hygiene. Once a child is approaching year one, parents may want to consider encouraging their child to drink from a cup instead of a bottle, as well as drinking water instead of milk or juice. By taking these simple steps the parent can easily help their children develop healthy dental habits that will hopefully continue on throughout their lives.