Partnering with an excellent pediatric dentist should be your first priority. Sometimes a grown-up dentist’s office can seem overwhelming to a child, but a children’s dentist focuses kids. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, our whole office, our entire patient experience, was created for kids and parents.
When should I take my baby to the dentist?
Routine visits with a children’s dentist are just as important as well-child checkups with the pediatrician. The good news is, visiting a dentist can be something you and your child look forward to!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Association of Pediatrics recommends children have their first dental visit by their first birthday or soon after the first tooth erupts.
At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we offer free exams to children under the age of two. At this visit, which we call the happy visit, we will discuss preventive care and teach tips for home hygiene.
After the first visit, your child should visit the dentist every 6 months for routine examination and professional cleaning. These visits let us help kids prevent issues like cavities and gum disease.
For just a moment, consider the importance of preventive dental hygiene for a child.
The mouth is an opening to the entire body, and poor oral health can affect overall health. It can also lead to disease, infection, and problems with teeth, which can affect bite, nutrition, speech, and school attendance. Good dental hygiene is just as important for children as it is for adults.
It is best to establish good dental habits and identify potential issues as early as possible.
Taking Care of Baby’s Teeth and Gums
With a few exceptions, babies are born without teeth, right? Not really. Even in a newborn, tiny buds of primary teeth are there, under the gums.
The first little tooth pops up to say hello, usually when a child is about 6 months old. The first set of teeth, called primary teeth or baby teeth, will continue to erupt until a child is about 10 years old. This chart from the ADA shows the order in which teeth will erupt.
The third molars, those wisdom teeth in the very back of the mouth, will erupt in the late teens or during early adulthood.
Your child’s gums and baby teeth require simple care.
- For the gums, a gentle wipe with a wet washcloth or an infant oral health wipe after feedings is sufficient to remove harmful bacteria.
- Baby teeth (or tooth!) should be gently brushed twice a day. A baby toothbrush usually fits over a parent’s finger. A small dab of toothpaste, then gently rubbing of the teeth and gums is all that’s required for infants. and will help to strengthen the teeth in the mouth as well as those still forming in the jaw.
- If you notice any abnormalities in your infant’s mouth, call your children’s dentist for an appointment to find out what’s going on.
Avoid “baby bottle mouth” by not allowing babies to fall asleep with a bottle of any beverage besides water. Be sure to take the bottle away as soon as the child finishes drinking. Use a pacifier if necessary.
A Children’s Dentist will Help Make Your Baby’s Smile Awesome
Led by Dr. Matt Hillman, our caring, energy-filled team loves catering to the special, unique needs of children. Located in Overland Park, SmilesDentistry4Kids is accepting new patients. Call (913) 685-9990 today to schedule your appointment.
HAPPY BRUSHING! (And flossing).