When’s the best time to take your little one to the dentist? “TOOTH” be told, in order for your little one to avoid dental problems (and to avoid hearing the words “TOOTH HURTY!”), it’s recommended by America’s Pediatric Dentists(APD) to see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. If your child has Medicaid, it is required to take them before they turn 6 months old. Afterwards, it’s suggested to take them to a check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. Primary, or “baby” teeth, help children speak clearly, chew naturally, and pave the path for permanent teeth to soon follow!
Starting at birth, clean your baby’s gums with a soft-bristled tooth brush that’s specifically designed for infants. At least once a day at bedtime, a teeny-weeny bit of fluoride toothpaste should be used to clean your child’s teeth as soon as they start to come in. If you notice your child has a tooth ache, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water, place a cold compress on the face if swollen, and see a dentist as soon as possible. Limiting your little one’s intake of sugars and starches will help prevent aches as well.
Tooth decay in infants is also known as Bottle Rot, which can occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle or even if a bottle is used as a pacifier. Symptoms include brown spots on teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, fever, and bad breath. If your little one shows any of these symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Lastly, no hard “FILLINGS” to regular dentists, but it’s important to take your little one to a pediatric dentist because they have two to three years of specialty training. You can find a pediatric dentist near you on the APD website. May the “FLOSS” be with you!