Children’s Pediatric Dentistry in Centennial, Colorado
“When should I start taking my child to the dentist?” is the question Argyle Family Dentistry’s dentist Dr. Sean Kennelly hears a lot. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that your child’s first dental visit should be when he/she is one year old. Typically, the baby sits on the parent’s lap for the exam.
Even babies can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding habits. One of the major causes is letting your baby sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth as the sugars from the milk or juice cause harmful bacteria to grow. This causes decay and tooth discoloration even in very small children. Some of the sings of the “bottle mouth” are pocked, pitted or discolored front teeth.
Running a damp washcloth over your baby’s gums following feedings can prevent buildup of damaging bacteria. Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush or rub them with gauze at the end of the day.
In most cases bottle mouth can be avoided by simply washing the baby’s mouth after every feeding. If you make it part of the routine, the baby will be more likely to get used to the sensation and not fuss too much about it.
Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry in Centennial, CO
What to expect at your child’s first dental visit?
Your baby’s dentist will generally try to stay within your baby’s comfort level at the first visit to not frighten him away from future dentist visits. It’s more of a “meet-and-greet”. The dentist will generally take a full history of your child’s dental and medical health, answer any questions you might have, allow your baby to become acquainted with dental equipment and chair, and briefly examine your baby’s mouth. During this time, depending on your child’s age or level of development, the dentist may ask you to hold your baby during the examination.
How to comfort your baby during teething?
Teething rings, water filled and chilled rubber teething toys; mom and dad’s fingers can all provide counter pressure that can sometimes bring relief. Offering your baby a cold bottle of water can also help. If sucking on the bottle bothers your child, offer a cold cup of water. The water can also help replenish your baby’s fluid if they’re drooling a lot or have loose bowel movements. When nothing else helps, you can also turn to the Infant Tylenol and baby Orajet, a topic medicine applied to gums, but check with your pediatrician or Dr. Kennelly first.
Dr. Sean Kennelly specializes in making that first time at the dentist fun and setting a good foundation for oral hygiene that will stay with your child for their lifetime. Contact our offices to set up an appointment for your child today!