AND PREPARING FOR THE FIRST DENTAL VISIT
It is important to care for your baby’s gums even before the first tooth appears.
Getting your Bub used to having their mouth cleaned as part of the daily routine should make it easier to transition into toothbrushing later on, too.
Once baby teeth arrive, it’s just as important to keep them clean and healthy, as baby teeth hold spaces open for the permanent teeth to come in.
HOW TO CARE FOR BABY’S TEETH AND GUMS?
Wiping the gums with a clean, damp facecloth daily will do the trick. Cup your baby’s head in your hand so you can see their mouth, and use a damp facecloth with soft, circular motions, making sure you clean the front and back of the gums.
The Australian Dental Association states that “As soon as the teeth appear, you can switch to using a soft children’s brush, with no toothpaste until 18 months of age, while your child lies on your lap or on a bed.”
WHEN TO VISIT THE DENTIST
According to the Australian Dental Association – As a rule of thumb it is time for a dental visit when your baby’s first tooth becomes visible or they reach 12 months old – whichever comes first.
If you notice anything you think is out of the ordinary before this time it’s better to be safe than sorry, so book an appointment straight away.
Your dentist will take a full medical history and look at factors such as your child’s overall health and development. Your dentist may discuss;
– Brushing techniques
– Bite (how your Child’s teeth will come together)
– Habits such as thumb sucking,
– Risk of decay and how to prevent it.
PREPARING YOUR VISIT THE DENTIST
Always be positive about dentist visits.
Never use the dentist as a deterrent for bad behaviour such as not brushing teeth, this is a sure way to reinforce any fear.
It is very important that when you talk about the dentist that you use positive and child-friendly terms, like; “seeing the tooth fairy’s friend” or “going for a ride in the dental chair”.
In the lead up to the first dental visit you could ‘play dentist’ at home and count your child’s teeth and explain that the dentist takes care of our teeth.
You can read more tips and information on the Australian Dental Association website:
Cleaning and caring for children’s teeth and gums early on sets up good dental care habits for life.