So, when should you take your child to the dentist for the first time? There seems to be a lot of misinformation around about when you should take your baby for their first check up. Shortly before Autumn turned 6 months old, I went to a class at one of our local Children’s Centres. As well as learning about weaning, we learnt about dental care too. It turns out that where I’m based in Medway there’s a scheme where babies are given a Medway Smiles passport. It’s encouraged that they first go to the dentist between 6 and 8 months old.
Here’s some more information how to look after your baby’s precious teeth as well as a giveaway! The prizes you’re in with a chance to win will help you to protect those pearly whites.
Autumn’s first dentist visit
However, when I got to the dentists, they seemed to not know quite what to do with her. At 7 months old, she didn’t have any teeth. Typically, her first one came through about a week after our appointment! However, in the class I’d gone to, we were told it was important to have a dental check. We were told we needed to even if they DIDN’T have any teeth! They can still check gum health, which is incredibly important.
We probably spent about 2 minutes in the dentist’s room where the dentist had a little bit of a feel of Autumn’s gums. Then she acted like we were being a little over zealous, telling us that she would get teeth in the next few months (well, yes, I’d expect them! You don’t need to have a dental qualification to tell me that!)
I felt a little downbeat, but knew I’d done the right thing. After all, it was what was recommended! It seems as though a lot of parents don’t really know when they should take their children to the dentist for the first time though. I’ve heard people told that they don’t need to take their baby until they’ve got a tooth or several teeth. Believe it or not, someone told me that they were told their child didn’t need a dental check up until they had ALL their teeth. Yet another couple of people have told me they were told between the ages of 2 and 3!
Something needs to change! Many dentists don’t seem to know why babies are being brought to them or what to do. There’s also a lot of confusion for parents. More information is needed and that’s what I’m aiming to do in this post!
Following a recent conference, the #DCby1 DENTAL CHECK BY ONE campaign was launched. The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry’s 65th Annual Scientific Conference was held in Manchester from 19th-22nd September. It aims to educate parents on how important dental checks by the age of one are to children’s long term oral health.
The role that Health Visitors can play in that was also identified. It would seem that not all Health Visitors around the country are as aware of the necessity of early dental checks as the ones in Medway are.
There are scarily high levels of tooth decay in children, which is completely unnecessary. More education is needed so that parents know what they can do to keep their children’s teeth and mouths in good health, preventing unnecessary fillings and potentially orthodontic work in later life.
You may have heard of Bickiepegs – they’ve been around a long time! My mum used to give me their teething biscuits when I was a baby.
In light of the conference, they have launched an initiative in which Health Visitors will be given a free Bickiepeg Finger Toothbrush & Gum Massager as well as a Doidy Cup.
Finger Toothbrush & Gum Massager
This toothbrush and gum massager fits nicely on the tip of your finger. It allows you to clean your baby’s first teeth and massage their gums. It’s a much more controlled and less invasive way than using a toothbrush. Just as with adults, it’s important that teeth are cleaned morning and night. It is important to clean teeth as soon as they come through. Meanwhile, making sure your baby’s gums are clean makes sure that their mouths are in good condition ready for new teeth!
This brush is a good way to introduce babies to brushing in the early days. One side has soft bristles and the other side is slightly dimpled that allows you to give your child’s gums a soothing massage.
This product is suitable for babies between the age of 6 and 18 months. Autumn is coming up to the latter end of the age bracket and is very independently minded, so she keeps trying to do it herself if I use this to brush her teeth! However, I had something similar when she was 6 months and it worked very well for us when she was younger. I think it just depends on your child’s nature, as I expect many people will be able to use it up to 18 months.
You may have seen news stories about how beakers with spouts or teated bottles can damage teeth. This unique slanted cup helps to teach your child how to drink from the edge of an open cup. This has been shown to help prevent premature tooth decay, poor deefing techniques and delayed speech development. It helps to encourage good oral movements and helps to develop chewing skills through the use of the jaw, tongue and mouth muscles. They are suitable for both breastfed and bottle fed babies.
It takes a little getting used to, perhaps especially if your baby has been used to spouts or teats. However, when I hold it for Autumn, she seems to get on with it very well. She just needs to learn to watch the level of the water in her cup as she tilts it when she holds it independently. Currently, I’m not sure she does that, as she tends to drench herself! I think she is getting better though – practice makes perfect!
By October, Bickiepegs had already reached out to 2500 Health Visitors, so you may be offered these products soon if you haven’t already! I also have 5 sets for you to win, as well as Bickiepegs natural teething biscuits!
Are you surprised that babies should be taken to the dentist by one? When did you first take your child to the dentist?
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Bickiepegs. I received a finger toothbrush & gum massager and doidy cup for the purpose of writing this article.
42 thoughts on “When should you first take baby to the dentist? (+WIN)”
I am so glad to see your giveaway as dental health is so important . I heard all the same things as you and once even asked why we were even brushing his newly visible teeth! We had the Doidy cup and the massager and an assortment of other brushes. Great giveaway!
I’ve still got to take Pops to the dentist but she’s booked to come along next time we go. She’s really good about brushing her teeth and I always brush them first and then let her play and chew the brush. She likes them being brushed wirh our electric toothbrushes too! Those finger brushes are a great idea. #thatfridaylinky
I eldest first went when she was five and my youngest two when they were 3. They loved the fact that the dental nurse blew up latex gloves and turned them into balloons.
I took her along with us when we went for the family check up she was 6 month but didn’t have any teeth then
i think my daughter was about two years old
I am terrified of the dentist, but am proud to say that I haven’t put my fear across to any of my 4 children
When they were about 1 year old
Wow, that’s worrying! Thank you 🙂
That’s great to hear 🙂 My little one also likes to chew on the brush!
Haha, that sounds brilliant! It always helps when health professionals know how to interact with kids 🙂
A lot of people I’ve spoken to have taken theirs around 2 years too.
Well done you! For all the things I’m anxious about, I’m not too bad with the dentist, despite having parents that really don’t like going!
We haven’t visited the dentist yet as they are just starting to come throug with his first tooth, when they do start showing we will be taking a visit.
I will take my little girl when she is two for her first proper appointment, my dentist has looked at her teeth for me when i have been for my appointments
Literally every time myself or husband went we took our babies – this way they are used to the environment/noise and smells even before they have their first check up
That’s a good idea 🙂
That sounds good. She might even have all her teeth by then!
Aww, bless 🙂
Dental care is so important teach them young Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week
Around 18 months
I took them from 6 months old. Its the whole experience of opening the mouth, showing the dentist your teeth. Its never too young to go to the dentist…. as part of your mums appointment.
My little is 11 months, so next year….
My son was twelve months old
my youngest went to the denist at 2 and has been every 6 months since, its such a important part off your body and i want her to be proud off her teeth x
My daughter went just before her third birthday first and now have regular visits to the dentist.
I took mine to the dentist when ever I went, once they had cut their first teethm I got the dentist to have a look, so that in years to come they would not be scared to go, as they got older
my granddaughter has just gone she loves brushing her teeth we make it fun
she has yet to visit the dentist
she went she was 1
Yay! Regular visits are so important when they’re young 🙂
Good thinking! 🙂
Aww, bless her 🙂
When she was about 2 – my friend was the dentist so she had good fun xx
12 months old xx
I didn’t know there were gum massagers for babies. That’s great!
I love the photo where she is waving. So adorable!
I also did not know there are toothbrushes and gum massagers for babies. I guess I am one of those uneducated people who think babies should only visit dentists once they have a set already out.
There’s a lot of confusion in the profession regarding when a child’s first visit should be. The associations need to set guidelines and educate parents as well as professionals. Thanks for sharing!
A good oral hygiene is the most important factor to avoid caries and gum diseases. The earlier you start with your baby’s oral hygiene the better because during their first months of life babies are in a passive oral phase, during which they enjoy the massage and manipulation of their mouths.
Wow! adorable baby, There is a Debate when should a child pay first visit at dentist. I think this should end now, I would say that children should visit a dentist as soon as they start having teeth.
Very awesome tips for parents. Thanks for the great advice and information you have posted on your blog. This is totally useful when it comes to dental health for our kids.
Your daughter is absolutely adorable! I wish they had programs like this in America for children! We took each of our children for their first visit to the pediatric dentist in Austin, TX within a few weeks of their first tooth erupting and have never had many issues with them disliking the dentist. We make sure we talk about the importance of our smiles and we even have “family teeth brushing” at 7AM and 7PM daily! I think it is great that they are trying to get children started with their professional dental care early on, hopefully we’ll see the trend start over here too.
Thank you 🙂 I love the idea of family teeth brushing! Dental check before 1 is a great idea, it would be fantastic if it was spread worldwide.