What to Know About the "Age One Dental Visit"

Most infants should see a pediatric dentist well before their first birthday.

Read on to learn how early intervention will set your child up for a healthier life or click below to schedule an appointment where you can learn directly from Dr. Chuck and our team.

Many parents are unsure of when and where to get professional newborn oral care.

We recommend bringing your baby to a board-certified pediatric dentist like Dr. Chuck as soon as their first tooth comes in. If their first birthday arrives before their first tooth erupts, you should bring them in around this 12-month mark.

What to Expect During Baby’s First Dental Visit

At your baby’s first appointment, we will examine your child’s teeth and jaw to check on their development. We will also clean their mouth and any baby teeth that may be emerging.

An age one dental exam is pretty short, and after an exam, we will educate you about the best practices for keeping your child’s mouth as healthy as possible. We will also answer any lingering questions you have about your kid’s dental health.

It’s normal for infants to cry or wiggle during their first exam. As time goes on, we will work with you and your child to build a trusting relationship and adapt to help them feel as comfortable and confident as possible in our pediatric office. 

There are many benefits to age one dental visits, including:

What Is Dental Caries?

Dental caries is a common chronic condition that affects more than 50% of children. It is more commonly known as the cause of cavities. Dental caries is caused by bacteria on the teeth, which metabolize sugars left over from food and convert them into acid. This acid demineralizes the enamel, causing cavities and tooth decay.

Dental caries is highly preventable, especially when you bring your infant to the dentist within their first year. Studies show that kids who receive newborn oral care are less likely to develop dental caries later on. Establishing a dental home early on is important so that you and your child have a relationship with your dentist in case they experience dental issues or emergencies.

When Should I Clean My Baby’s Mouth?

The dental hygiene of your little one is essential. It is important to clean their mouth even before their first tooth erupts. 

If your infant hasn’t started teething, wipe their gums twice a day with a clean washcloth. 

Once the baby’s teeth erupt, you can start brushing them! Start with a tiny portion of fluoridated toothpaste on a baby toothbrush — about the size of a grain of rice. Then, gently brush and massage the teeth and mouth. Once your child has the motor skills to spit (usually around 7 or 8 years old) they graduate to using a pea-sized portion of toothpaste.

The Best Infant Dental Care in Chapel Hill, NC

Taking your child to the dentist in their first year is key to your child’s health! Establishing an early relationship with a pediatric dentist ensures that your kid gets comprehensive and consistent care throughout their childhood. 

If you’re in Chapel Hill, NC, Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry is the best place to establish a dental home. Book an appointment today!