You may hear some people saying that their child didn’t see a dentist until they had a full set of teeth, around the age of three. Please don’t leave it this long! Bacteria can start forming in babies’ mouths from a super young age.
The earlier you start taking their oral health seriously, the more smooth sailing their future smile journey will be. We love meeting little ones here at smilogy!
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you come in for the first check-up after they get their first tooth, or before their first birthday – whichever comes first.
All babies are different, which is why there’s no set in stone date that they’ll achieve the big milestones. Some get their first tooth as early as 4 months old, others at around 10 months. There’s usually no cause for concern about being “early” or “late”, and your dentist will do their best to reassure you of this.
how should we prepare for the appointment?
Even though your baby is probably too young to understand what’s happening, they respond best to calmness and positivity. Show them lots of love and attention and try to hide any nerves you may have on the day – they can pick up on body language.
When your baby is teething, they may struggle to get comfortable. You can use chilled (but never frozen) teething rings to help them settle in.
what to expect on the day
From the beginning of the appointment, the dentist will put you and baby at ease. It’s worth bringing another adult with you if you can, because there will be lots of questions. One of you can focus on soothing the baby if they’re fussy while the dentist looks inside their mouth. This leaves the other free to chat away!
Dentists are well-trained in dealing with babies, and will be very thorough. You’ll go through the baby’s full history, talking about things like:
- Their bite
- Any habits, such as thumb sucking
- Milestones such as getting their first tooth
You’ll also learn a lot at this first appointment. Your dentist will ensure you have all the skills you need to protect your child’s smile at home.
- Brushing techniques and your other responsibilities
- How to floss your baby’s teeth (yes, this is necessary!)
- How to prevent decay
- The link between smile health and what they eat
- How to prevent traumatic mouth injuries
- Your child’s likelihood of having issues with cavities or their bite
Don’t worry about any issues that may be detected – dental problems discovered early can be easily prevented and treated.
looking after their smile at home
Both before and after your first appointment, it’s important to get into a good routine at home. If you start doing this when they’re young then it’s just a normal part of life. Try and model good behaviour in your own habits, especially as they get older. Brush your teeth as a family!
Bacteria can get into babies’ mouths even when they’re very young. Before teeth come in, wipe their gums with a clean cloth twice a day. After they start getting teeth, use a special children’s brush, without toothpaste until they reach 18 months. Your child may wriggle, so you can lie them on your lap or on a bed. Don’t forget to floss!
Finally, start associating the dentist with positive things. You never want them to learn fear or anxieties, or think that the dentist is a punishment. A dental office is actually a positive place!
come and see smilogy
Ready for baby’s first appointment? At smilogy, we know exactly how to provide stress-free dental experiences. From day one, you’ll start building a relationship with us and we’ll put you at ease.
Dr Luke Cronin
As a graduate of the University of Queensland (2000, 2013) and the University of Sydney (2006), Dr Cronin is one of Australia’s leading cosmetic dentists, specialising in creating stunning new smiles with cutting edge cosmetic dentistry techniques, including clear aligners, whitening and porcelain veneers.
Dr Cronin's work has been showcased in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Elle magazine and in 2019 he was awarded Australasian Dentist of the Year by My Face My Body in 2019.
Acknowledged an expert in his field for segments on the Today Show and House of Wellness, Dr Cronin now offers his first-class cosmetic treatments and customer care at smilogy.