The joy of having a baby is always accompanied by additional responsibilities and worries – all centered on the well-being and health of the baby. What does the baby want when it cries? That is the only mode of expression it knows. Is it hungry, sick, or wet? New parents, particularly, have a lot to learn for the first time. Of special concern to the parents is the health of the baby. How to make sure that the feeble, vulnerable baby remains free of disease? Luckily, plenty of advice is available, especially when it comes to oral health of your precious baby. All you have to do is to bring the baby to the dentist.
When Should You Take Your Baby to The Dentist for a First Visit?
When should the first visit of the baby to the dentist take place? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and all other professional bodies recommend that a child’s first checkup should occur around its first birthday. So early? With only a few baby teeth? Yes. That is considered professional advice. Some babies may develop tooth decay at an early age. That has to be intercepted. And it is not merely the teeth. There will be very valuable and timely information for the parents on how to monitor the baby’s dental health and to give it good hygiene habits. Formation of healthy habits is also very important at this early age so that they go with the baby when he or she grows up.
Preparing for the Big Day
Prepare the child mentally as if you are going to a pleasurable event. Show excitement, because children uncannily pick up on the mood of their parents. You can give the child an idea that a friendly person is desirous to look at your new teeth and talk about them, or some such hype.
Bringing along a favorite toy is a good idea. You could also carry along afavorite snack, and maybe, a diaper in case a need arises. Dependent on the temperament of your children, you may decide to leave other children at home, but if they have to come along, presence of a grown up child or an adult may help in handling them. That will let you concentrate on the health of the new baby. Filling out the forms in advance can save valuable time at the dentist’s office.
The dentist will welcome you and the baby and make both of you comfortable in the chair. He or she will try to become friendly with the baby, and get the baby to open its mouth to him or her. The mouth will be gently examined for any problems like early decay. Risks of future problems will also be assessed. Such examinations can avert impending problems, and early caries may be intercepted without the need for drilling-something kids abhor.
You will also receive advice on how to maintain the oral health of your child in optimum condition through oral hygiene, choice of diet, and eating habits. The dentist can also demonstrate the best ways of brushing, and motivate the child to maintain good hygiene. At the end, a date for the next examination visit will be fixed.
The bottom line
Habits are formed early in life. Start forming them for your child the earlier the better. The “age one” visit helps in giving your child good oral hygiene habits which will benefit him throughout his mature life. Hence, do not delay the visit.