You woke up this morning, and you saw the first tooth peeking out of the gums. You were too excited that the first thing you thought of was to get your mobile phone so you could take a picture of it. And then when the picture was done, you were off to do the things you normally do on an ordinary day. The legend of the first tooth has ended with the picture and now all you have to do is wait for your child to grow out more tooth before you set him for the first dental check-up. But is this the way to go?
Most parents go about the same process. They wait until the child grows two or more teeth before they decide that it is time to go to the dentist. In fact, some parents don’t consider seeing a dentist until their child turns one. This may be due to the traditional beliefs that are practiced in most cultures. But if dentists were asked, they would say that it shouldn’t be the way to go. In truth, proper oral hygiene should begin even before the first tooth comes out.
The first step should be the cleaning of the gums and the tongue every day. Though babies may only be drinking milk as their source of nutrients, dairy substances, whether breast milk or formula, may make gums vulnerable to bacteria growth. Thus, it is important for parents to brush off the excess milk from their child’s tongue and gums to ensure that the mouth does not become susceptible to bacteria that may cause early childhood problems in the teeth and gums.
Though most would recommend a twice a year visit to the dentist, it is somewhat important that parents start their kids young. The first dental visit should be when the first tooth erupts or at least a few weeks before the child turns one. Whichever of these happens. First, parents should take the child to the dentist immediately. The first dental visit should be made as comfortable as possible to bring about a positive experience in the child.
When the child enjoys the first dental visits, he will readily associate it with a positive experience and will not have any ill feelings towards the dentist or the experience itself. In the future, parents won’t have any problems convincing their child to go to the dentist. The positive experience will in itself help the child go through dental procedures without worries or anxiety.