The dental care for children post was so popular that I’m following up with a few frequently asked questions and answers. Although dental care is not as widely debated as many other parenting topics (ahem, co-sleeping anyone?) there are a wide range of ‘right’ answers. Hopefully this post will help clear up any lingering confusion you may have. As always, this post is not to be interpreted as medical advice, just one mama’s opinion!
When is it time for professional dental services?
Most dentists recommend that children see the dentist for the first time between the eruption of the first tooth and their first birthday. Pediatricians generally recommend the first dental visit occur between the 2nd and 3rd birthday, and no later than the 4th birthday. My own personal take is to factor in the actions of your child and yourself. If you brush your childs tooth/teeth three times a day, and they eat a healthy diet low in sugar you are probably safe pushing it back. If your child’s favorite food is gummy fruit snacks, they sleep with a bottle, and you don’t brush as often as you’d like then you should take them earlier.
How can I provide great dental care at home?
Start early! The earlier your brush a child’s teeth, the more used to it they will be. My child’s dentist recommends keeping a toothbrush brushing every time you change a diaper. Use the changing table position to your advantage! Remember to use a non-flouride toothpaste until your child can spit. You should be flossing as soon as the teeth start to touch, which is different on each child. Remember – if it you make it seem fun then they will think it is! Sing songs, get a ‘fancy’ toothbrush, let them brush a stuffed animal’s teeth, anything to make it easier on you both.
What is the best way to find a dentist for my child?
You can start with your own dentist. Many dentists care for the whole family. Referrals are a great way to find a pediatric dentist. Ask your Mommy friends about their child’s dentist. What do they like about the dentist? What do they dislike? Lastly, look for reviews of the chosen dentist on sites like yelp.com.
Do you have any tips for dental care? We have some great tips in the comments on our previous post, How to Take Care of Your Baby’s Teeth, so be sure to check that out!