Thursday, April 28, 2011

When Should I Bring My Child To The Dentist?

First Dental Visit
This is a question we hear quite often from new parents. When is the best time to bring a child in for that first visit? A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth," are as important as the permanent adult teeth. We at Brown Family Dentistry recommend that a child be seen by a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts, but at least no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a "well baby checkup" for the teeth. The front four teeth usually erupt first, beginning as early as 6 months after birth. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of 3 years. The primary teeth generally begin to shed, or fall out, at about 6 years of age. The first of the 32 permanent teeth begin to appear about the same time.

Brushing Your Child’s Teeth
            Begin brushing your child's teeth with a little water as soon as the first tooth appears. Supervise toothbrushing to make sure children older than 2 years of age use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and avoid swallowing it. Children should be taught to spit out remaining toothpaste and rinse with water after brushing. Most children will be able to brush on their own by the age of 6 or 7 years and should be brushing two times a day. Parents should be using floss on their children's teeth as soon as any two teeth touch. Cleaning between the teeth is important because it removes plaque where a toothbrush cannot reach. At that first dental visit, we will be checking for tooth decay and other problems, demonstrate how to clean the child's teeth properly and evaluate any adverse habits such as thumbsucking.

Routine Dental Checkups
            Help your children maintain a lifelong healthy smile by providing them with a well-balanced diet, limiting snacks, ensuring that they brush twice per day and floss once per day, and scheduling regular dental checkups for them. Please give us a call at 920-725-0400 or visit us at and we will be happy to assist you in scheduling your child’s first visit!


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