Do you know when kids should go to the dentist for the first time? It is hard to believe, but tooth decay can begin at age one. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, children should see a pediatric dentist for an exam when their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday. Little Chompers Pediatric Dentistry in Leavenworth, KS cannot wait to meet new families and little smiles!
Pediatric Dentist vs. General Dentists
Similar to how a pediatrician specializes in kids health, a pediatric dentist specializes in dentistry for kids under age eighteen. Our pediatric dentists are trained with examining babies, children of all ages, and children with special needs. A general dentist may also see children, but a pediatric dentist only sees young patients and therefore has more experience with dental care for kids. There are also some procedures needed by children that a general dentist will not perform.
Infant Knee to Knee Exam
To check a baby’s teeth, a pediatric dentist will usually perform an infant knee to knee exam. This is where the doctor will sit knee-to-knee with a parent and have the infant lay back on their laps. The doctor can quickly check their teeth and gums. This visit also serves as a great teaching opportunity for parents and guardians to learn how to encourage good oral hygiene habits from an early age.
Brushing Baby’s Teeth
The earlier you establish an oral care routine for your baby, the better! It is important to clean a newborn’s gums with a soft cloth and water. This will clean the mouth of bacteria from breastmilk or formula. Once teeth erupt, begin using a kids toothbrush with soft bristles and a tiny smear of toothpaste to clean the teeth. Remember that once a child begins eating other things besides breastmilk, their teeth are at risk for decay. Age one may seem early to see a dentist, but it is all about prevention and education. The earlier a potential concern is caught, the less time it has to become more severe. However, it is never too late to begin taking your child to see a pediatric dentist!
Ready to Schedule an Appointment?
We can’t wait to meet you and your family! Give us a call at (913) 250-6583 and one of our amazing team members will help you get set up. You can read more about your first appointment by clicking HERE. If you ever have questions, feel free to reach out to us!