When children reach a certain age, they should start having regular visits at the dentist. It allows hygiene measures to be put into place at an early age to ensure good oral health. Do you know what age your child should first visit the dentist? In this article, discover the benefits of ensuring good dental hygiene in your children’s early years.
How often to go to the dentist?
It is not uncommon to see cavities in a 3-year-old’s tooth while they are on their first visit to the dentist. For this reason, the Canadian Dental Association recommends visiting 6 months after their first tooth appears or, at the latest, one year old, even if the child has no teeth. Don’t forget that the RAMQ covers one exam a year per child until the age of 10. There is therefore no reason to not make an annual appointment with the dentist for your child. Around the age of 3, your dentist will recommend starting dental cleanings and fluoride treatments.
Advantages of making an appointment at an early age
There are many advantages to starting a dental routine early on with your kids. Four of those advantages include:
- Dentists will determine if teeth are being properly cleaned at home and give you advice on dental hygiene;
- Dentists can detect potential problems early;
- They will also check if teeth are normal and straight;
- Children become comfortable with the routine of dental exams when they start early on.
Good hygiene begins with adequate tooth brushing
Going to the dentist is only one part of good oral hygiene. The most important part is thoroughly cleaning your teeth at home. Young children cannot clean their teeth alone. Most often, a parent should do it for their child until they are able to write their name. Once older, the child should be able to do it alone, possibly with the help of their parents.
Even before the first tooth appears, you should begin to clean your child’s gums and mouth for two reasons. First, it allows the child to get into the habit of brushing his teeth after each meal, and secondly, the cleaning ensures the first teeth will grow into a clean environment.
How to handle a baby’s gums
- Hold the child comfortably,
- Rub gums and teeth gently with a baby brush or a damp cloth,
- Do not use toothpaste if your child does not have teeth.
Also, between the ages of 1 and 3, a health professional can determine if your child is likely to have cavities. This will make the decision of a fluoride toothpaste or not easier. Otherwise, you brush your children’s teeth with a brush and water only. Subsequently, after 3 years, children will be able to brush their teeth with a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.
Make the first appointment for your child
If your child has turned one year old or their first tooth has appeared, it’s now time to make an appointment with a dentist. At the Clinique Dentaire et d’Implantologie du Dr Vinh Nguyen et Associés, our healthcare professionals are experienced with children and can definitely advise you on the hygiene measures to adopt. Contact us today!