Time is flying by – every time you look at your daughter you realize just how fast the days pass. It seems like she was an infant just a few months ago, but her teeth are coming in now, she’s up and walking around, and she has a lot to say, too. You love to see her smile and want to make sure her grin is healthy her entire life long, but when should she start seeing her children’s dentist in Waverly? The team at Smiley Family Dentistry recommend following the advice of the American Dental Association (ADA) and visiting us by the time your daughter turns one.
Why Should Children See The Dentist By Their First Birthday?
It’s important that your child visit Dr. Jonathan Smiley by the time your he or she celebrates their first birthday for many reasons.
- Proper Development – Your dentist in Waverly will be able to check and make sure your child’s mouth, jaw, and teeth are developing as they should be.
- Tooth Decay – Decay can occur as soon as your child’s first tooth develops. Since kids are developing their motor skills and hand-eye coordination, they are especially prone to enamel problems like tooth decay. Sweets and snacks can compound the problem, but seeing your dentist can make it easier to catch issues early.
- Cavities – More than 1 in 4 children has a cavity by the age of four, and some kids can develop dental caries as young as two years old. These can be painful and spread infection to other teeth, so see us to save your child’s smile.
- Thumb & Pacifier Sucking – Kids often suck their thumbs, fingers, or on a pacifier when they are anxious, which can result in a condition called “pacifier teeth.” Work with our team to solve this common problem that can negatively impact your child’s health and appearance.
How Should We Prepare For Our Child’s First Appointment?
There are many things you can do to prepare for your child’s first dental appointment. Keep the following tips in mind and watch this helpful video from the ADA, too.
- Schedule the appointment after your child has eaten and not around their nap time.
- Make the first appointment about education and getting to know the dentist.
- Read stories, watch cartoons, and enjoy coloring books about the dentist.
- Tell your child well in advance that they have an appointment – don’t surprise them on the day of.
- Speak positively about the dentist – if you say going to the dentist will be fun, your kids will trust and believe you.
- Reward good behavior with stickers or a small toy. And don’t fret if your child wiggles or even sheds some tears – this is often from anxiety, not necessarily because anything is wrong.
- Brush at home twice a day – use a pea-size amount of toothpaste and be gentle.
- Limit sweets to prevent cavities and tooth decay – this includes fruit juices and sugary beverages, as well as snacks.
Now that you know why it’s so important to schedule your child’s first dental appointment by the time they turn one year old, contact our team today to give your son or daughter the healthy smile they deserve!