A dental checkup, already? But they only have 2 teeth!
We’re betting that when you think of your child’s first trip to the dentist you’re not thinking it’s for your toddler’s one or two lonely little teeth… but it should be.
That’s right, your child’s first check-up should come just as they’re sprouting their first lower central incisors (the middle ones on the bottom!). At the latest, we recommend establishing a practice of regular checkups at least by their first birthday.
Pick the right place
A visit to the dentist has to be established as normal, fun, and most of all, not scary. Truth be told, however, there are a lot of strange noises and devices in a dentist’s office. At Let’s Smile Dental we do everything we can to make the experience as quick and comforting for your child as possible, including introducing them to all of our instruments and machinery (like that whooshing drain they have to spit into that sounds like a dino’s roar). We also recommend you prepare your child by telling them beforehand where they are going and why, maybe even using a book about visiting the dentist as a way to get them excited about their first check-up. Here’s a list of some we like:
- For infants and young toddlers:
- For older toddlers and preschoolers:
It’s about you, too
Does your baby know the differences among the pediatric dentists in your area? Probably not. At this point your little one has full trust in you, and your choices. The idea is to find a pediatric dentist, like Let’s Smile Dental, where you, the parents, feel most comfortable. As a pediatric dental specialist, Dr. Brown has had additional years of training, on top of dental school, for the care of children. She understands that treating an infant or toddler is also just as much about the parent. That’s why we do our best to make you feel that you’ve picked the right pediatric dentist, someone whom you and your child can grow with over the years, all the way up through adolescence. That means frequent, open communication, involvement in the checkup itself and having a relationship with the team at the practice.
Why so soon?
Preventive dental care starts with the first tooth. Just like an adult, it’s recommended that your baby visit a pediatric dentist about every six months. You want to make sure even baby teeth stay as healthy as possible and prevent any other problems before they start. Baby teeth are like little soldiers, holding the line for permanent teeth as they grow inside the jaw underneath the gumline. Care of baby teeth is just as important as permanent teeth as any cavities or decay can actually affect the next generation of teeth. You will also want to tell us if your child is a thumbsucker, as that can affect the growth of your child’s jaw and move teeth (more details here: http://bit.ly/2F90iQV).
Good dental care starts at home
Even with one tooth, it’s important to start instilling good habits early. Teach your child to take care of his or her teeth and gums by brushing regularly (with a soft bristle brush, like one of these, of course.) This will remove the harmful bacteria that leads to tooth decay. Okay, we understand that kids like sweets and grandma can’t resist making her grandkids happy with a few treats when she visits, but limiting the sugary or starchy snacks is also very important to good dental health.
Your child’s chewing, speech development, and self-confidence all start with a healthy set of baby teeth. At Let’s Smile Dental we recommend that you call us as soon as you see the whites of your baby’s first little tooth pop.
Side note: Is your infant’s or child’s tongue movement restricted by a little band of tissue at the tip of their tongue attached to the base of the mouth? It can affect breastfeeding in the early days and speech later on. It’s a common condition known as tongue tie. Dr. Brown is experienced with resolving tongue tie issues through a laser procedure (frenectomy) done in-office. It’s a simple procedure and can make a huge difference with feeding. Let us know if we can help!
Click below or call 703-719-5828 today to schedule a consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!