4 Reasons To Bring Your 1-Year-Old To The Dentist

Your one-year-old barely has any teeth, so the idea of taking them to the dentist may initially seem a bit odd. You might figure you will wait a couple of years until they have more teeth — but actually, dentists do prefer to see babies for the first time around their first birthday. Here are a couple of reasons why it's beneficial to take your child to the dentist at this age.

1. To assess the health of the teeth that have erupted.

Most babies have at least a couple of teeth by their first birthday. This is enough for the dentist to see to make sure your child does not have any major issues with their tooth enamel. Occasionally, babies will have a condition in which the tooth enamel is not well mineralized and takes on a blueish tint. If your baby does have this condition, it is important that the condition is recognized as soon as possible, and visiting the dentist around your baby's first birthday is adequate.

2. To assess the health of the gums.

Patients commonly forget that dentists do not just treat teeth; they are also responsible for keeping the gums healthy. Your dentist will check over the baby's gums and make sure there are no signs of soreness or gum disease. These conditions are not unheard of, since the milk that babies drink does contain sugar and can cause bacteria to replicate within the mouth and contribute to gum disease. Your dentist will also discuss ways you can keep your baby's teeth healthy, such as wiping the teeth and gums with a damp cloth after nursing and never putting your baby to bed with a bottle.

3. To show you how to brush your baby's teeth.

Even though your baby may only have a couple of teeth, you do need to brush them. This can be a challenging thing to do at first, but at your first dental appointment, the dentist or dental hygienist will show you how to do it confidently. This way, you can keep your baby's mouth clean and hygienic, starting early.

4. To establish a baseline.

Visiting the dentist this early also allows them to establish a baseline as far as the structure of your baby's mouth and their dental health. If something goes wrong down the road, the dentist will be able to compare your baby's mouth to what they saw during the first visit, giving them a better idea of when things took a wrong turn. 

For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Silver Lake Family Dental