When it comes to getting children to do things, there are certain tasks and activities that are easier than others. Getting them to do chores and homework may be difficult, but getting them to take care of their oral health does not have to be.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children visit the dentist by their first birthday. This may seem incredibly early, but the benefits are two-fold: 1) it allows your child to become exceptionally familiar with the dentist’s office from a very young age, and 2) it gives your dentist accurate oral history of your child’s mouth.
But even before you take your young child to the dentist, there are things that you can do at home to help your child comfortable going to the dentist.
- From the time your child’s first tooth erupts into his mouth, begin wiping his tooth and gums with a damp washcloth. Not only will this feel good on teething gums, but it will help your child become familiar with fingers being inside his mouth. It will also do a little cleaning to wipe away bacteria from the tooth and gums.
- As soon as your child can sit up well on his own, get a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush. You will want to always remain with your child while he has the toothbrush, but allow him to chew on it and play with it. Not only will your child do a little cleaning to his teeth and gums, but he will be familiar with a toothbrush from the very start.
- Give your child breastmilk/formula and water only to drink. By limiting what your young child drinks, you are preventing the early formation of cavities. As soon as the first tooth erupts through the gums, it will be vulnerable to damaging bacteria. You will significantly reduce any dental scraping at the dentist’s office by limiting your child’s diet to breastmilk, formula, water, baby cereal, fruits, and vegetables.
As you see, there is not much that needs to be done to prepare for your child’s first dental appointment. Simply making healthy dietary choices and helping your child become used to simple dental tools will do wonders.
Contact Engineered Smiles today to schedule your child’s first appointment. We look forward to serving you and your family.