When your child is born, there is an indescribable feeling that comes over you.
You know that this precious person is now your responsibility. It’s rewarding in ways that can’t be explained.
But it also can feel overwhelming at times. What if you do something wrong? It’s something that all parents worry about, but the good news is that kids are resilient. If you do your best, they usually turn out all right.
Among the many decisions you will face as parents are where your family should go for dental care.
If you come to Bayou Dental Group, you can feel confident that your child’s oral health is in good hands. If you live in or near Monroe, LA, we welcome you to call or better yet to visit our dentist office so you can meet our staff and learn more about our approach to children’s dentistry.
Childhood Milestone: First Trip To The Dentist
As you child grows, he or she will have several first-time experiences that you as parents will remember forever.
Your child’s first steps are a joy to behold. Your child’s first words will fill you with pride. And seeing your child’s first tooth will remind you how quickly things can change.
Children should visit the dentist for the first time within six months of their first tooth erupting or around their first birthdays, according to the American Dental Association.
We strongly encourage you to start your child’s oral hygiene as soon as he or she is born. You can help your children before they have teeth by wiping their mouths with a moist cloth or gauze a couple times each day. When the teeth do erupt, you can brush them with a small amount of toothpaste, roughly the size of a grain of rice.
When your child makes his or her first visit with us, we have two primary goals.
First and foremost, we want your child to become familiar with us and our office. By starting to build a relationship, we can reduce and hopefully prevent your child from experiencing dental anxiety as they return for routine care.
Second, we do want to take a look at your child’s teeth and mouth. Whenever we can, we want to prevent problems or treat them as soon as possible.
We Are Here To Help You
During your child’s first visit, we welcome you to stay with him or her. We may even ask you to hold your child in your lap so a member of our staff can count his or her teeth.
But this visit isn’t just for your child. It’s an opportunity for you, too.
You can ask us questions about our approach to dental care. You can ask questions about home care so you can feel confident that you are doing and teaching your children the right ways to brush and floss.
We can also address concerns you may have about nutrition or behaviors, such as thumb sucking, that can affect the development of your children’s teeth.
Preventing oral health problems is the best approach to dealing with them.
When your children are young, they won’t be able to do this on their own. You may need to brush their teeth and floss between them for the first few years of their lives.
Between the ages of 3 and 6, many children will indicate that they are ready to start brushing and flossing on their own. This is another important step for them and for you.
At this stage, you will want your child to have a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto the brush before you begin.
You want your child to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. It’s often helpful if you brush your teeth at the same time to demonstrate how to scrub their teeth on all sides.
Flossing daily is just as important because this is how you and your children clean the places between your teeth and gums that can’t be reached with a toothbrush.
Modeling these behaviors for your children helps them learn what they should. It also encourages them to build habits that can keep their mouths healthy for life.
The Right Fit For Your Family
Dr. Finley has hired a staff that cares about and enjoys working with children. We want to help them keep their mouths free of cavities and gum disease for as long as possible.
We also want you to see our dentist office in Monroe, LA, as a resource to help you and your family with questions about oral care.