The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your child for their first dental checkup when they get their first baby tooth. You can wait until more primary teeth have appeared, but definitely bring your child to see a dentist before their first birthday.
Here are top tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Wipe gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth in the morning after the first feeding and right before bed to wipe away bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.
- When teeth come in, start brushing twice a day with a soft, small‑bristled toothbrush and plain water.
- Visit the dentist by your baby’s first birthday to spot signs of problems early.
- For children younger than 2, consult first with your doctor or dentist regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste.
- If your child is younger than 6, watch them brush. Make sure they use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spit it out rather than swallow. Help your child brush until they have good brushing skills.
- Drink tap water that contains fluoride. Fluoride prevents the acid produced by the bacteria in plaque from dissolving, or demineralizing, tooth enamel, the hard and shiny substance that protects the teeth.
- A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
Learn more about our pediatric dental services in Tempe, AZ