Baby teeth start to erupt through the gums between six and nine months of age. These primary teeth help your child eat and speak and also guide the adult teeth to come in straight. Infants can get cavities just like older children and adults do, so even these teeny tiny teeth need to be cleaned. Following all feedings you should clean your baby’s mouth and teeth – if the teeth are not large enough for an infant toothbrush, you can use a piece of gauze or a damp washcloth to wipe their teeth and gums. This will also prepare your child early for what should be a life-long habit of brushing their teeth.
Both the Ontario Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend your child’s first dental appointment should occur by the age of one, or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth.
Make it fun! Let your child bring along his or her favourite stuffy toy to the appointment. The dental professionals at Dentistry on Liverpool will strive to give your child a positive first impression of dental care, even if the first visit is only for a ride in the dental chair! To assist us you can try playing “dentist” at home. Count your child’s teeth, then switch roles and have them count yours, explain that this is what the dentist and hygienist will be doing. You can also explain other things that may happen at the dentist’s office using non technical, non threatening language. For example to describe dental X-rays you may say “the dentist may take some pictures of your teeth using their special camera”. You can also take your child along to yours or an older siblings routine exam or cleaning appointment. Lastly, be sure to advise your dentist about any special needs or medical problems such as allergies.
Ontario Dental Association
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry