Dental care is critical for children. Cavities are the most common chronic disease found in school age children. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year.
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth comes in.
- But even before your infant's teeth come through, dental care is important.
- After feeding, thoroughly clean your infant's gums with an infant washcloth or gauze pad to remove any food and stimulate the gums.
- When your baby's first teeth begin to grow in (typically around six months). brush them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid fluoride toothpaste until the child can learn to spit into the sink.
Tips For A Successful Trip to the Dentist
- For younger children, try NOT to schedule an appointment during naptime (or after naptime if your child is typically cranky after waking up.)
- For older children, try to avoid cramming in a dentist appointment right after a full day of school or camp, as they may be too exhausted.
- Make sure your child isn't hungry by planning to eat before the appointment (while avoiding anything heavy and being sure to brush after)
- Consider taking your child to your dental cleaning or an older sibling’s to show them good patient behavior.
- Keep calm if your child gets upset or won’t cooperate. Assess why your child is acting out, then work as a team with Dr. Hawkins to keep the visit going. Allow Dr. Hawkins, his team and your child to build a good relationship