Is It Time for Your Baby’s First Pediatric Dental Visit?

Since you brought your bundle of joy home from the hospital, has life felt like a whirring blend of diaper changes, midnight feedings, and occasional attempts to shower and clean house? As the weeks go by, and you find your rhythm as a new parent, there will be some important steps to take to care for your baby, including his or oral health. While it’s all-too-easy to overlook oral care, in those early days, there are many compelling reasons to make sure your child receives dental care, even as a baby.  

Make Sure to Watch for Warning Signs of Decay

Many parents don’t realize that even babies can struggle with dental decay, in the form of what is commonly called baby bottle tooth decay. To help prevent this, you can gently wipe your baby’s gums clean after feedings with a clean, damp cloth. You can also send your baby to bed with only water, never milk or juice. That said, if you do notice your baby’s gums beginning to change color, he or she could require a visit to the dentist to ensure decay has not begun. In general, healthy gums should be a light pink color, and firm. Gums that appear darkened, such as deep red or purple, inflamed, easily irritated, or bleeding, could be indications of oral health issues.

Around Age One Kids Should Start Visiting the Dentist

It’s also important to take your child for his or her first dental checkup and cleaning on or shortly before the first birthday. Whether teeth are present at that milestone or not, most pediatric dentists agree that children should visit the dentist for the first time nearly their first birthday. That is because it is important for a dentist to check for any burgeoning issues, such as baby bottle tooth decay.

Of course, a pediatric dentist is also a wealth of information about how to care for your child’s teeth as they begin erupting. From how much toothpaste to use, to when to begin flossing, the dentist can help address a wide variety of questions new parents might have, as well as to provide general advice about how to keep the whole family’s smiles healthy!

filed under: Children's Dental Services, Preventive Treatments