5 Things Your Kid’s Dentist Wants You to Know

This post is sponsored by Kansas Kids Dental and is written by Dr. Aaron Kamp, DDS.
 
Many parents do not realize when to start going to the dentist. Typically, you should take your child to the dentist somewhere between 6 months and one year or when their teeth begin to erupt, whichever comes first. Every kid is unique, some have teeth come in earlier than others and some later. 
 
If your child is approaching age one and does not have any teeth, we still recommend coming in. Not all parents do this, but it is good to get them used to the experience of being at the dentist. The first visits are for parental education, ensuring we are doing everything properly at home, and to establish a dental home just in case emergencies arise. 

Be prepared for your first dentist visit  

I would advise all parents to practice cleaning their child’s mouth often to get them used to it. Early on, this can be as simple as using a wet washcloth on the baby’s gums. There are great finger toothbrushes and infant toothbrushes to use once teeth start coming in. If you start right away, they grow up used to the practice of keeping their mouth clean.  
 
It is recommended to use a grain of rice sized smear of fluoride toothpaste as soon as the child has teeth. Be sure to keep using this small amount until around age 3 when the child can reliably spit.      
 

Your kid may not want to go to the dentist 

There are countless children (and adults) that do not enjoy going to the dentist. Sometimes this can be solved with something as simple as just easing into it. We are happy to let kids come in and meet the team, have a quick visit, and take things one step at a time.  
 
Everywhere the child goes in the office, the parent can go. We feel that puts a lot of parents and children at ease and makes the experience a lot more enjoyable for everyone.  
 

When to see the dentist outside your normal checkup schedule  

Consistent pain in the gums or mouth is a concern and reason to bring your child in for an appointment. Additionally, noticing any abnormalities like bumps or ulcers in their mouth would be another reason to bring them in.  
 
Maintaining a regular checkup schedule can prevent most issues before they develop. But accidents happen, and we are always a phone call away.

Diet is important  

Milk is obviously great for a child’s development. However, we do not want to let babies sleep with a bottle. If the baby still has a bedtime milk feeding after teeth erupt, be sure to brush before bed.
 
It is better for our teeth if we have defined snack and mealtimes, less grazing all day. High carb foods, like crackers, will cause cavities just as much as sugar. It is hard to be the “bad guy” dentist and say do not eat candy, but I just suggest eating it in moderation and cleaning well after. I eat candy, I just make sure I floss and  ensure my teeth are extra clean afterwards.  

 


Dr. Aaron Kamp is a dentist at Kansas Kids Dental, a new children’s dental office in Olathe, KS. Located at 12708 S. Black Bob Rd. Find Kansas Kids Dental online at kansaskidsdental.com. 
 
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