Baby teeth normally start to erupt at about six months of age. Cavities can begin to develop as soon as this first tooth appears, so it is important to begin cleaning the baby teeth right away. You can even get a head start on this routine in infancy by gently wiping down your child's gums with a soft washcloth.
It's best to do this twice a day, especially before bedtime. Not only is this the best time, but it helps to develop a life-long routine. Use a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and if the dentist recommends a fluoridated toothpaste, use just a rice-grain-sized dab.
You should bring your child for their first visit to our Maple Ridge dental clinic by their first birthday or within six months of the first tooth's appearance. It is important to go to the dentist before there is a problem to create a positive atmosphere at the dental office.
We can assess any risk factors for cavities at this appointment and give parents or caregivers preventive tips. It is important not to over-prepare your child when it is time for this visit. Treat it as routine and avoid the use of phrases such as "it won't hurt," "don't worry," or "everything will be okay" that create fearful expectations.
If your toddler is ready for their first dental visit or you have an older child who's due for a dental exam and teeth cleaning, please call our Maple Ridge, BC dental office to schedule an appointment.