When should I bring my child to the dentist for the first time?

It’s never too young to bring your child to the dentist. In recent news there has been an astounding number of children presenting to the dentist for the first time with tooth decay. If the child is very young, this can lead to extractions under general anaesthetic in hospital in order to get them out of pain.

How do I stop my child from needing dental treatment?

  1. Come for regular check-ups as soon as possible, this can be used as an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the dentist and to have a ride on the chair (perhaps on a parent’s lap).
  2. It is advised by the Department of Health that breast feeding provides the best nutrition for babies initially.
  3. From six months infants should be introduced to drinking from a free-flowing cup
  4. From age one feeding from bottles should be discouraged
  5. Sugar should not be added to weaning foods or drinks
  6. Parents or carers should brush or supervise brushing up until about age 8
  7. As soon as teeth erupt into the mouth they should be brushed twice a day with a toothpaste containing 1000ppm fluoride (check the label). If your child already has tooth decay, is at high risk of developing decay (you can check this with your dentist), or is over 6, you should use a toothpaste containing 1350 to 1500ppm fluoride.
  8. Only a smear of toothpaste is needed.
  9. The frequency and amount of sugary food and drink should be kept to a minimum.
  10. Sugar-free medicines are better where possible.

You should go to see your dentist every 6 months, but in some cases where the child appears to be at high risk of developing tooth decay this may be reduced to 3 months.



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