Dental habits established in childhood will form the foundation for oral health during adulthood. Parents and caregivers can set children up for a lifetime of good oral health by training them about proper dental hygiene at an early age.
Visiting the Dentist for the First Time
A child should have their first dental visit around his or her first birthday. Around this age, many of the child’s teeth will have erupted into the gums and the child’s first baby tooth will have erupted about six months before. Parents should speak with their child openly about their upcoming dental appointment and answer any questions they may have about the experience.
Carefully choosing a dentist to care for your child’s teeth is important. All dentists are qualified to care for a child’s oral health, but many parents prefer the expertise available from a pediatric dentist or a family dentist who is experienced with caring for young patients. A dentist who has experience caring for children is accustomed to squirming and is more likely to have a child-friendly waiting area.
What to Expect
By age three, most children have around 20 baby teeth, or primary teeth. Children are born with these teeth, but they do not erupt and appear until they are several months old. These teeth will eventually fall out, but they are still susceptible to decay until that time. A child usually begins losing teeth around their sixth birthday. Dr. Blake Lawlor inspects children’s teeth for signs of decay and make sure that the teeth are erupting normally. Our dentist will determine a schedule for your child’s dental visits.
You will be instructed on proper home dental care and advised of habits that may cause early decay. You may be cautioned about:
- Pacifier usage
- Sending children to bed with bottles or sugary drinks
- Using fluoridated toothpastes prior to age two
Caring for a Child’s Teeth between Office Visits
At-home dental care is just as important as visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Before your child’s teeth erupt, their gums should be gently washed daily. As soon as your child’s teeth break through the gums, begin brushing their teeth twice a day. The teeth can initially be cleaned with water instead of toothpaste. As your child gets older, begin using children’s toothpaste as recommended by our dentist.
Feel free to contact our dental office today to learn more about pediatric dentistry in Wichita, Kansas, and to schedule your child’s visit.