Dental Care starts with the First Tooth
It is a question that many first-time parents ask. When to begin dental care for a baby?
Ask around and you’ll get a lot of different answers. Sometimes you’ll be told as old as three years. Some dental office will recommend a one-year appointment.
Here at Smiles by Design, we like to see your baby about the time they get their first tooth so we can help you care for your child’s teeth properly from the beginning.
Why Dental Care Should Start From a Young Age
Dental care for babies should start at a young age because teeth can start decaying as soon as they erupt in the mouth. This could be as early as 4 months, but is more likely going to be at 5 or 6 months. Just like with adult teeth, infants teeth need to be cared for daily to help protect them.
Studies have now proven that mothers can infect their infant children with the bacteria that cause tooth decay. So even before your baby gets that first tooth, they might be at risk for tooth decay. There is also sugar in baby formula and even mother’s milk. Sugar feeds the bacteria that destroy teeth, so it is important to start brushing right away. At your child’s first appointment, there isn’t a lot to examine, but we will spend time with you explaining how to best keep your child’s teeth healthy through nutrition and proper oral hygiene. For example, did you know that you should start flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that are next to each other?
Let’s face it. Money is usually tight for new parents. There are a lot of costs from diapers to day care to consider. It seems like maybe delaying that first dentist appointment will save a little money. However, studies show that children that receive earlier dental care have less costly care as they get older. Treatment is usually a lot more expensive than prevention (even if you have insurance, it usually covers fillings and other treatment at a lower rate than preventive visits).
Get Children Comfortable With Going to the Dentist
Dental care for young children also helps them become comfortable with coming to our dental office as they get older. Young children accept new experiences, including visiting the dentist. As children age, some will become more worried about new places and new things. Regular checkups from a young age will give your child experience with dental visits that will help them avoid fear.