It is extremely important to get an early start to dental care, as well as ease your child into the experience of visiting the dentist as soon as possible. According to the Canadian Dental Association, assessments of infants by a dentist are encouraged either within the 6 months following the eruption of the first tooth, or before a child is one year of age. Of course, if you suspect a problem with your child’s teeth in any way, bring them to the dentist as soon as possible.
As mentioned, it is important to ensure your child feels at ease going to the dentist. If you are a nervous dental patient, consider having someone else bring your child to the appointment. If a child sees their parent in a nervous state, they are more likely to become nervous too. Also, try to explain what will happen without using phrases like “don’t be afraid” or “you won’t get hurt”.
Before your child’s teeth surface, start cleaning their mouth with a damp cloth and continue with a soft bristle toothbrush their first tooth has emerged. As always, limit the amount of sugary intake, beverages, and snacks such as saltine crackers, which have a high risk of decaying young teeth.