Instilling good oral hygiene habits early in life will help ensure your child takes proper care of their teeth and gums as they grow up. For this reason, regular visits to the dentist should start early. To help you care for your little one’s mouth, here’s a quick guide on when to schedule their first visit and how to create positive habits early on.
Scheduling the First Appointment
The eruption of a child's first tooth is a sign that they’ll soon need to start visiting the dentist. This can occur as early as six months of age, but most parents schedule the initial dental exam when their kids are one to two years old.
This will give the dentist a chance to evaluate the child’s oral hygiene to ensure they don’t have common infant conditions like baby bottle syndrome. During the first visit, no major work will be performed, but parents can ask questions about potential future issues and how to care for their little one’s mouth.
Establishing Good Oral Care
As soon as a child can hold a toothbrush, they should get used to the act of brushing. Until they’ve adjusted to the habit, you may have to help them clean their teeth to ensure all crevices are free of food particles. This will help prevent cavities and other dental problems.
To encourage your child to brush, make oral hygiene fun. Try playing upbeat music while brushing or creating a routine where all family members care for their teeth together. There are also a variety of smartphone apps that aim to make this activity engaging and interactive for children. This may include timers to help them clean for the right amount of time and virtual animals that do the work alongside them.
When your child is ready for their first visit to the dentist, trust Pediatric Dentistry of Onalaska. Since 2002, Dr. Timothy Flood and his team have been serving kids throughout the La Crosse County, WI, area. They provide a variety of oral hygiene and dental care services, including exams, teeth cleanings, and fillings. Learn more about what they offer online or call (608) 781-9114 to make an appointment.