A child's first dental visit to the pediatric dentist is usually scheduled around his second birthday. But what happens before baby (primary) teeth fall out and the tooth fairy pays a visit is vital to a child's well being.
A healthy set of baby teeth can ensure proper facial development, and that your baby will speak and eat properly.
Whether breast-fed or bottle fed, baby gums need to be cleaned after every feeding. Simply moisten a gauze square and gently wipe away plaque. Never put a baby to bed with a bottle containing anything but water. (Read labels carefully: many infant juices contain sugar.)
After all 20 baby teeth have come in -- between 2 and 3 years – begin regular brushing. Make it a fun experience for you and your child. Beginning at about 2-1/2 years, examine your child's teeth every three months. Using a dental mirror, hold it behind the tooth surfaces and shine a penlight onto the mirror. Check for stained areas you may have missed with disclosing tablets (available at your pharmacy). If a child has a fall or is in a fight, look for any baby teeth that look blue -- a sign of injury, and call your pediatric dentist.
Research shows that kids who are brushing their teeth by the age of five will continue this habit all their lives. So give your child a head start on good dental health.