Their First Appointment! When To Take Your Baby To The Dentist

Maintaining your child’s oral health is of the utmost importance. But proper care starts earlier than you might think. So when should you start taking your child to the dentist? The team at Priti Naik, DDS in Vienna is here with the answers!

When Should I Take My Baby To The Dentist?

When they have teeth! Your child’s first baby tooth should erupt at around 6 months of age. Once you see that tooth coming through, you know it’s time to schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment. Not all babies will have their first tooth by 6 months, but they should definitely see a dentist by their first birthday.

It might seem a bit early, but it’s never too soon to begin instilling good habits and a healthy oral care routine. Starting your baby at a dentist you plan on growing with, allows the doctor to understand the history of your child’s oral health. And seeing the same doctor every 6 months helps your child form a comfortable relationship with their healthcare provider, removing fear and anxiety from their appointments.

Dr. Naik can track the development of your child’s primary, or baby, teeth to ensure they’re coming in correctly. Starting regular appointments early is also extremely helpful in preventative dentistry, catching potential issues before they become serious.

How Should I Take Care Of My Child’s Teeth?

The good habits that you learn from your doctor should be carried into the home. Here is a quick guide that will get you through the first six years of your child’s oral health routine!

  • Pre-teething (0-6 months) – Even before your child has teeth, their mouth needs care. After breastfeeding or bottle feeding, use a clean cloth or a piece of gauze to wipe your child’s gums clean. This prevents bacteria from building up, and reduces the risk of infection. You should repeat this process at least twice a day. Ideally, you should clean your child’s mouth after feedings, or right before they go to sleep.
  • Teething (6 months-3 years) – As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, it’s time to start brushing. Purchase a baby toothbrush with very soft bristles, a large handle and a small head. If only a few teeth have erupted, you can simply wet the toothbrush, and scrub your baby’s teeth. You do not need to use toothpaste until about the age of 2. Then, the ADA recommends using a tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
  • After teething (3-6 years) – At the age of 3, and as long as your child understands not to swallow the toothpaste, you should start using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. For the first few years, you’ll need to help your child brush their teeth. But once they get the hang of it, you can just supervise to ensure they’re not swallowing the toothpaste.
  • After the age of 6, things get a lot easier! Your child will be able to brush on their own, and you can encourage healthy oral hygiene habits.

Need A Pediatric Dentist In Vienna or Tysons Corner? Come To The Office Of Priti Naik, DDS Today!

Dr. Priti Naik offers family dentistry with pediatric care, so you can take care of the entire family in one visit. Best of all, she’s a friendly dentist that you and your children can grow with!

Contact us online, or give us a call at (703) 293-5778 to schedule an appointment. And you’re always welcome to stop by our office at 8230 Boone Blvd., Suite 320, Vienna, VA 22182. We’d love to see you!

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