Dentists are just for adults and big kids with all their teeth, right? Well, not really. Your baby will need to visit a dentist at some stage even before they have all their teeth come through.
This is because a dentist does more than just look at teeth. They look at the whole mouth, gums, and lips as well.
As with all things, prevention is better than a cure, so an earlier bub’s first dentist trip can be better.
At what age should my baby see a dentist?
Generally, it goes off of when they cut their first tooth, or when they turn 12 months old – whichever comes first. You should have a dentist check over your bub’s mouth around this time to make sure everything is progressing normally, if nothing else. If you have any concerns or problems earlier than this, it is perfectly OK to see a dentist earlier – better to be safe than sorry.
What will happen at their first visit?
Your baby’s first visit to the dentist will usually just be a routine check – but obviously a little different to yours, as they have fewer teeth. The dentist will be very experienced with checking little kids and babies, so no need to stress. They will take a full medical history and talk about the overall dental health of your bub.
Some things they might talk about include:
- Teething – how their teeth are coming along
- Techniques for brushing the teeth once they come through
- How your child’s bite will look (how their top teeth and bottom teeth will close on each other)
- The softer areas of their mouth like gums, cheeks, and lips
- Habits such as sucking their thumb or dummy
- How to prevent tooth decay and what would put your bub at risk of decay
- How to make sure your baby’s mouth stays healthy by protecting it from trauma (blows to the mouth, etc.)
- Nutritional advice to keep your baby’s teeth and mouth as healthy as possible
The dentist will always have your baby’s best interests at heart, so listen to any advice they give you and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re not quite sure about something.
It is important that good habits are formed in the early years, so their dental health continues to be great in later life.
– written with information supplied by the Australian Dental Association