You want the best for your kids: the best schools, the best career opportunities, the best healthcare. As a father, I understand. As your family dentist, I also want the best for your children. That’s why, at Kennedy Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer children’s dentistry and parent training. This means, instead of just taking your child back, cleaning his teeth, and returning him to your care, we’ll give you and your child advice, tips, and help on the best way to take care of your teeth at home.
Here’s a short explanation of the best oral health practices as your child grows:
- While You’re Pregnant: Hormones can contribute to the risk of developing gum disease, and gum disease is linked to low-weight births. Be sure to attend your regularly scheduled, six-month checkups and cleanings during pregnancy. Let the front desk, doctor, and hygienist know that you’re expecting.
- As an Infant: Your child probably won’t develop teeth until she’s at least a few months old. However, bacteria will live in her mouth. To clean your infant’s gums, use a soft, damp washcloth and gently wipe out the mouth, including the upper and lower gums and the inside of cheeks and lips. If your child develops white rash in her mouth, she may have thrush. The condition is not serious in early stages for most people. Just alert your pediatrician as soon as you notice the rash. Also, DO NOT allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle in her mouth.
- By Age One Year: The American Dental Association and my practice advise parents to take a child to the dentist’s office by age one. This early childhood visit will acclimate your little one to the dental office. I’ll take a quick look inside your child’s mouth and discuss any concerns you share with me. This visit can be done in conjunction with a parent’s checkup, just alert our front office of your intentions.
- Every Six Months: After the first visit, your child needs to see me every six months for a quick checkup. If I notice any problems, I’ll let you know. If you notice any problems between visits, please call my office and schedule an appointment. We can discuss everything from tooth development to thumb-sucking. My team and I will be happy to help you!
- By Age Three to Five: Depending on your child’s oral development and ability to sit still for a dental appointment, dental cleanings with the hygienist should begin between your child’s third and fifth birthdays. Just like an adult, a child needs six-month cleanings and checkups to prevent the development of serious oral health problems.
If at any time you have questions, concerns, or comments about your child’s dentistry and oral healthcare, please don’t hesitate to call and talk with me, Dr. Robert Kennedy, or anyone on my team. My office in Bedford, MA serves families with comprehensive general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. We look forward to meeting you and your children very soon.