It’s never too early to schedule your child’s first dental exam.
As soon as that first baby tooth appears, he or she can get cavities. Being proactive about your child’s dental heath can ensure they have a healthy smile for life.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age.
Shining Smiles enjoys caring for all patients, including children, and recommends bringing your child in for a regular dental exam every six months.
During this visit, the dentist and dental exam team will gently clean your child’s teeth and check for signs of dental problems, such as tooth decay.
There are many other benefits to this first dental exam. If you begin taking your children to the dentist around the time the first tooth erupts, then they are probably too young to be nervous. But if you’ve waited until your child is older (for example, 2 years), then he or she may have some anxiety at the time of the first visit.
Talk to your child about their checkup and look for books about dental health and dentist visits. Schedule plenty of time so the visit isn’t rushed, and make sure your child is well-rested. Avoid scheduling their appointment during nap time.
In addition to an office visit for regular check-ups, it is important to help your child establish good oral hygiene habits at home.
Toothbrushes for infants and toddlers should be soft with a small head and a large handle, and brushing should be supervised until the child can reliably rinse and spit out excess toothpaste, usually around 6 years of age.
Shining Smiles: 110 N. Larkin Avenue, Joliet, IL 60435, 815.310.3220, www.shiningsmiles.com