As an adult, you probably know how often you should be scheduling appointments with your dentist, but if you have a baby, you're likely looking for more information about when you should start taking them for check-ups too?
Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that a child’s first dental visit takes place before their first birthday, and ideally when the first tooth erupts in the mouth. The exact age at which this could happen can vary tremendously. Like every other developmental milestone when baby teeth come through can’t be controlled. While most babies start to experience signs of their teeth coming through at around six months old, some may have this earlier or indeed later. Some babies will not get their first tooth until after they are a year old, while others are born with one or more teeth already pushing through the gums.
Similarly, the order in which your child’s teeth appear can also vary. The bottom front teeth are usually the first to erupt, but this isn’t always the case. If you see a white line appear on the top of the gum, it is likely to be a tooth coming through and over the next few weeks and months, you will start to see it appear fully. Some babies have a very long teething process, while others will get most of their baby teeth in just a few months.
Regardless of when they erupt and the order in which they appear, it’s important that you start to get your child’s teeth monitored by your dentist right away.
Many people think that children don’t need to see a dentist when they are very young. However, it is just as important for infants to attend regular appointments with their dentist as it is for adults. There are a number of important benefits for doing so. These include:
Your pediatric dentist can start your child’s dental record from birth, creating an accurate and comprehensive history that can be referred to in the future.
You are never too young to develop healthy tooth habits, and your pediatric dentist can help you understand the best way to support your child’s oral health.
Your pediatric dentist will be able to give you specific advice relating to childhood habits that can potentially have consequences for your child’s oral health, such as avoiding prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking and more.
Your pediatric dentist can carefully monitor the development of your babies’ teeth, spotting any issues early so that they can be treated successfully.
Exposure to the dentist from an early age familiarizes your child with the sights, sounds and smells of the environment, helping to avoid dental phobia in the future.
Teething is well known as a trying time of parenthood. This is because babies often experience a range of unpleasant symptoms when their teeth break the gums for the first time. These can include:
Gums that are sore and red
One flushed cheek (on the side where the tooth is erupting)
Your baby is gnawing and chewing things that they can get hold of
They may have a slight fever
Loose bowel movements can occur in teething babies due to the amount of saliva that they swallow
Your baby seems fretful and unsettled no matter what you do
If your baby is teething, it’s likely that you will start to see the arrival of their first tooth soon. Remain vigilant and use the time to find a great pediatric dentist to take care of your child’s oral health and smile.
If your little one hasn’t yet had their first pediatric dental visit, call us at Fort Worth Children's Dentistry today at (817) 569-6633 to schedule their pediatric dental appointment.