What Happens When You Take Your One-Year-Old To The Dentist?
Dentists generally recommend that children have their first appointment around their first birthday. As a parent, you might wonder what the dentist can possibly do during this appointment, being that your child has only just begun to get their baby teeth. But rest assured, this first dental appointment is, indeed, quite important. Here is what you can expect to happen during the visit.
1. Assessment for Underlying Dental Conditions
Although this may come as a surprise, your child's dentist can tell a lot about their overall dental health just by looking at the few teeth that they already have. They can assess whether your child's teeth have proper enamel, whether they are coming in at the appropriate locations, and whether those teeth are starting to show any signs of decay from habit such as putting your baby to bed with a bottle. This early assessment allows dentists to come in with early interventions that can stop conditions from worsening, or can reduce the impact those conditions may have on the child later in life.
2. Assessment of Gum Health
Dentists do not just care for teeth; they care for gums, too. Even tiny children can develop gingivitis, which is an infection of the gums. This is often the result of too many sugary liquids, going to sleep with a bottle, or a lack of gum cleaning by the parents. The dentist will look over your child's gums for signs of the condition, and if there are signs, give you advice to help stop gingivitis in its tracks. After all, gingivitis can have serious consequences, like tooth loss, if not treated.
3. Oral Care Demonstrations
Brushing your baby's teeth is a lot different from brushing your own. Hopefully, you have already been brushing the teeth that your baby does have, but even so, the dentist can show you how to do it most effectively. They can also recommend specific brushes and toothpaste that will make brushing easier and more effective for your little one. If your baby only has a couple of teeth so far, the dentist can show you how to properly wipe off their gums after nursing in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
While the age of one may seem early to bring your child to the dentist, this really is the best time to get started with preventative care.
For more information on children's dental care, reach out to a pediatric dental clinic in your area.