If you’re a new parent, first of all congratulations! Your new role as a mother or father will bring many joys, challenges and responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to ensure your child maintains good oral health. This includes visiting the dentist regularly and taking care of your child’s teeth between visits.
The First Dentist Visit
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends children see a dentist around their first birthday. This initial visit is usually nothing more than Dr. Evanson explaining proper brushing and flossing techniques and conducting a brief exam while your baby sits with you.
It may seem simple, but this first visit sets the stage for a healthy mouth for years to come. Dr. Evanson can spot problems early, and visiting the dentist from a young age gets your child used to it. This can help prevent fears and phobias of the dentist as your child gets older.
The Importance of Regular Dentist Visits
You may think brushing and flossing at home is enough to keep your child healthy. However, it’s important to visit a dentist with pediatric training like Dr. Evanson every six months. When you make these visits a priority, you benefit in several ways:
- Dr. Evanson is trained to spot and treat a wide range of issues specific to children’s oral health.
- Dr. Evanson can refer you to a specialist if your child needs certain services, such as overbite correction from an orthodontist or jaw realignment from an oral surgeon.
- Dr. Evanson can perform dental exams, x-rays and cleanings to spot problems early. With the ability to take action quickly, you can help avoid the discomfort and higher costs of more complicated restorative dentistry.
- Dr. Evanson offers fluoride rinses to harden your child’s tooth enamel. Getting this rinse every six months is a great way to ward off tooth decay and cavities.
- Dr. Evanson offers dental sealants to further protect baby teeth from getting cavities. Protective coatings are applied to the biting surface of molars to fill in pits and pockets there. With no place for bacteria to hide, plaque is less likely to form and cavities are less common. Dental sealants last up to 10 years and Dr. Evanson can reapply them if they come loose.
- Dr. Evanson can fit your child with an athletic mouth guard. This is vital in preventing athletic oral injuries. The ADA estimates that 200,000 football injuries are avoided at the high school and collegiate level each year thanks to mouth guards.
How to Care for a Child’s Teeth Between Dentist Visits
You should begin caring for your child’s teeth starting at infancy. Follow these tips from KidsHealth to help keep your child’s teeth and gums strong:
- Before your baby even starts teething, run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to remove bacteria.
- As soon as the first tooth appears, continue to wipe off teeth with a clean, damp washcloth. When a few more teeth start to erupt, begin brushing with an infant toothbrush and a tiny bit of baby fluoride toothpaste – about the size of a grain of rice.
- Between ages 2 and 3, begin teaching your child to spit after brushing. Start using a larger amount of child’s fluoride toothpaste – about pea-sized – once your child masters spitting.
- Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup, since sugars from milk or juice sit on your child’s teeth for hours and eat away at the enamel. This condition, called bottle mouth, is characterized by pocked, pitted or discolored teeth.
- Supervise children younger than 6 while they brush. Discourage them from swallowing toothpaste and make sure they’re doing a good job of cleaning every tooth.
- As your child get older, continue to be a good example by caring for your own teeth. Keep taking your child to see Dr. Evanson every six months. Since our office also offers dental services for adults, your child can continue visiting us well into adulthood.
To schedule an appointment for your child, please contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008.Leave a reply →