Proper oral hygiene should be instituted as early as when the first tooth comes into the mouth.

The First Dental Visit

First Dental Visit

A child’s first visit to the dentist is an important step towards dental health and should take place within six months of the first tooth’s eruption through the gum line or no later than one year of age, whichever occurs first. The first dental visit is to help motivate your child into adopting a positive dental routine and to familiarize him or her to the dental instruments in a relaxing and friendly way. Dr. LaLande will examine your child’s mouth to detect decay, assess tooth development, identify abnormal facial development, teach proper oral hygiene techniques and give guidance regarding proper oral habits. Depending on your child’s cooperation, a few X-rays may be taken in order to help detect decay.

The first tooth usually erupts between six to nine months of age. However, there can be a wide range of tooth eruption, and it is not unusual for a child to have delayed eruption of teeth. When your child is teething, he or she will exhibit symptoms of being restless, may drool, gums may become more sensitive, experience a low-grade fever, or have diarrhea. Treatment for these symptoms can include – massaging sore gums with a finger or teething rings, or placing ice or frozen rings on gum areas. The best remedy for your child is a pediatric dose of Tylenol or fever reducing medication for pain. Orajel type products may work for a short period of time, but they are not usually recommended.

Proper oral hygiene should be instituted as early as when the first tooth appears inside the mouth. Teeth should be wiped off with a gauze pad or a thin washcloth. Toothpaste is not necessary as most children will swallow it. If toothpaste is to be used, we recommend a non-fluoridated toothpaste until the child can expectorate on their own. Wiping off the teeth and gum pads will help to massage them and assist in reducing teething discomfort. Plaque can form on any tooth and the gum pads around them causing potential inflammation and teething discomfort.

Dental problems can begin very early. The primary cause of dental decay in young children is nursing or baby bottle tooth decay. A baby may get severe decay when he or she nurses constantly from the breast or a bottle containing milk or juice during bedtime or naps. A child should not be put to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or any sweetened liquid. If a bottle is used, only water should be used. It is advisable to stop bottle or breast feeding by one year of age.


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