If you have recently had a baby, then you should know that your child needs to see his or her dentist about the same time that the first pediatrician appointment is scheduled. Basically, your child should have their dental exams around their first birthday. This first visit is important for several reasons. Keep reading to find out why:
Check For Cavities
Your child will develop his first tooth between the four and seven month age mark, but some children will form them even earlier at the three-month mark. You will see the bottom middle teeth come in first. These teeth should be checked along with any other ones that pop through the gums. Basically, if your child has teeth, cavities can develop.
Cavities are an issue when it comes to the baby teeth because decay can easily penetrate through the enamel and dentin. If the decay reaches deep enough, it can affect the forming adult teeth. Since the crowns of the adult teeth push up on the roots of the baby teeth to disintegrate them, the permanent teeth sit extremely close to the baby teeth. This makes it easy for cavities to spread.
Since cavities can spread and affect the permanent teeth, it is best for a dental professional to find and treat the decay as soon as possible. Once you start the dental visits, continue on with a checkup at least once every six months unless an issue develops.
Early, diligent, and appropriate oral care practices are required to ensure that the teeth and gums remain in great shape for years to come. Obviously, your child cannot care for their own teeth yet, so you will need to do so. Your child's dentist will tell you about some of the best products to use. For example, you should start with a baby toothbrush, but you should not opt for fluoride toothpaste just yet.
In additions to general oral care, you will learn about some potential issues that can affect your child's teeth. Thumb sucking, bottle sucking in the crib, a poor diet, and the overuse of fluoride when fluoride products can be used.
Your dentist is the professional who can offer assistance on how to reduce discomfort and pain due to teething issues. Also, a pediatric dentist can provide a list of the how the teeth should emerge over time. You will need to investigate this to see if the teeth are emerging on schedule. If they are not, then you may need to make an appointment with the dentist.