When is a Good Time to See a Pediatric Dentist?
Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. Strong, healthy teeth and gums are what let your child eat, speak and also hold the necessary space within their gums for permanent teeth. Your child’s first 20 teeth will start to emerge from around six months and continue until almost three years of age. However, just because it takes up to 33 months to get all their baby teeth does not mean children should wait that long for their first dental appointment.
Ideally, children should see a pediatric dentist between the time when they get their first tooth and their first birthday. This helps us guide parents on the best they can do for their babies oral health care.
Tooth Decay Can Happen to Baby Teeth
Yes, baby teeth (also known as primary teeth) are eventually replaced by permanent teeth, but it does not mean they cannot decay. Decayed baby teeth actually increase the risk for decay in permanent teeth. Severe decay and gum disease can affect a child’s overall health.
What Causes Decay?
Bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Small children are at higher risk when their teeth are exposed to sugar (which feeds bacteria) for long periods of time. This is why parents are encouraged to clean their baby’s gums even when they do not have teeth and start brushing the moment they do.
Tips for a Positive Experience at Your Local Waterloo Dentist
To ensure your child’s first visit is a positive one, there are a few things you can do:
- Schedule the appointment early so that they can slowly adjust to visiting their dentist annually or semi-annually.
- Try scheduling appointments in the morning, when they are well rested and more cooperative.
- Make taking care of teeth a positive experience and even fun. Use colourful toothbrushes, fun flavoured toothpastes and make it a game.
- Never make the dental visit seem like a punishment or threat; otherwise, your child might fear the dentist.
At Waterloo Smiles, we practice pediatric dental care and are here to ensure your child has healthy teeth and gums for life. It is never too early for a child’s first dental appointment and it is a perfect opportunity for parents and small children to establish great oral hygiene.
Call 519-888-6063 or click to schedule an appointment for your child with our experienced Waterloo dentist.