From their First Visit to Future Care
Making sure that your children have positive experiences when they first begin visiting the dentist will help avoid feelings of anxiety about dental appointments and procedures in the future.
Your Child's First Visit
A child’s first visit to the dentist should fall around his or her first birthday. This is the time when many of the baby teeth have erupted into the gums, and it is approximately six months following the breakthrough of the first baby tooth.
It is important to make visits to the dentist an exciting experience for young children.
Parents should speak with children openly about an upcoming dental appointment and answer any questions a child may have about the experience.
Here are some things you can say to your child about their first appointment:
- Your dentist will count your teeth
- Your dentist will brush your teeth
- Nothing will hurt or bother you, but if it does, just tell the dentist
Equally important is the dentist chosen to care for a child’s teeth. Although all dentists are qualified to care for a child’s oral health, a family dentist with lots of experience caring for young patients is often ideal.
It is important to familiarize your child with our dental office environment to see any anxiety that could be associated with future visits.
All our Ontario offices maintain a kid-friendly waiting area to make for the best experience for you and your child.
Contact us to learn how our Toronto dentists can help care for your child's dental health needs.
Care Between Visits
While regular visits to the dentist are important for you children's oral health, their smiles won't stay healthy for long without thorough, consistent at-home dental care. At-home dental care is just as important as visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Even before teeth erupt in a child’s mouth, the gums should be gently washed each day.
Twice-daily brushing should begin as soon as the teeth break through the gums, although the teeth may initially be cleansed using water, rather than toothpaste.
As the child gets older, it is safe to begin using children’s toothpaste as recommended by the child’s dental provider.
The Development of Healthy Smiles
By the age of 3, most children have 20 teeth, which are often referred to as baby teeth. Children are born with these teeth, although they do not appear until several months of age. Although these teeth will eventually fall out usually beginning around the child’s 6th birthday, they are still susceptible to decay until that time.
All throughout childhood, the dentist will inspect the baby teeth for cavities and signs of decay, as well as ensure the teeth are erupting normally. As the child grows, dental visits continue according to a schedule determined by the dental care provider.
Parents are also instructed on proper home dental care and advised of day-to-day habits that could cause early decay.
Caution may be given about:
- Pacifier usage
- Sending children to bed with bottles or sugary beverages
- Using fluoridated toothpastes prior to age two