“May I be excused?” When should parents bring their children in for their first dental check-up?
Just because they still waddle when they attempt to walk, it does not mean young children are excused from a visit to the dentist. Just when parents are getting used to having a new baby at home, the teething process is about to bring forth a new challenge. Usually beginning around 6 – 7 months of age, the eruption of the lower central incisor is usually hard to miss as it is often coupled with crying and biting. The Canadian Dental Association recommends infants get their first dental check-up 6 months after the eruption of their first tooth, or by one year of age. However, these guidelines are being ignored by Canadian parents, as a study published in the journal Pediatrics this month showed less than 1% of children receive dental care by 12 months of age and the number remains low as children reach the age of two, with less than 2% of children having visited a dentist.
Why Start Early?
By taking your child in to see Dr. Jaleel, she will be able to:
1) Take note of your child’s existing teeth and assess whether new ones are coming in properly.
2) Teach you the proper way to clean your infant’s teeth, or assess whether you are cleaning their teeth effectively. It is recommended that children younger than the age of 5 or 6 should have a parent clean their teeth for them. Learn the proper way to clean your child’s teeth with Dr. Jaleel.
3) Educate you on proper diet and nutrition for your infant to ensure their teeth are cavity-free. Sugar, whether from natural sources or bought from a bag can lead to cavities and tooth decay. What is important is how long the sugar stay in the child’s mouth. Since milk contains sugar, if you put your child to bed with a bottle of milk, you are increasing the likelihood of your child getting cavities. By feeding your infant milk before bed, it allows the germs in your child’s mouth to feast on the sugar. This is just one of the many things Dr. Jaleel look forward to share with you when you come in for a visit.
4) Educate you on the effects of pacifiers and thumb-sucking on the development of your child’s teeth. Problems associated with the development of the mouth and jaw have been associated with pacifier use and thumb-sucking.
In addition to all of the above reasons, it is important to get your children exposed to dental visits early on. By visiting us early, it provides your child opportunities to get familiar with our dental clinic and the staff who works here. As your child age, we can provide answers to questions your child may have on top of teaching him/her all that goes into maintaining a healthy set of teeth. Dr. Jaleel, known for her gentle, caring and warm personality, never wants a child to be afraid of the dentist.
Health Smart Financial Service
Some parents may be holding out on taking their child to see a dentist because of financial reasons. We are here to help. Sometimes, employers will offer their employees medical and dental benefits. A Health Spending Account can cover your dental expenses using pre-tax income that is set aside for medical/dental expenses. What’s more is that you can use it for you AND your family.
More information on Health Spending Accounts can be found on our FAQs page, or simply call us at:
Book an appointment and come in for a visit.
We are conveniently located across from the Carlingwood Shopping Centre in Ottawa. Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist, puts you and your child’s dental health first.More