Is your baby ready for dental services? It's hard to tell when your young one barely has any teeth — if they have any at all. However, your baby should see the dentist on a regular basis, just like you do. If you're not sure if your little one should have a dental appointment made, use this guide to assist you.
Your baby's gums are red or bleeding
Your baby can suffer from infected or irritated gums just like you can. Your baby's gums can become sore because they are cutting teeth for the first time, they've cut or irritated their gums on a chewing toy or other object, or they have an active infection in their mouth.
Watch out for excessive drooling, crying, or bleeding in your baby when their gums are affected. Your baby should go to the dentist for a checkup if they are running a severe fever that won't go down with medication, they are vomiting or have nausea, or if your baby is listless, not interested in food, or is otherwise acting strangely. If your baby is ill due to their gum problems, then you may need to put them on antibiotics.
Your baby's teeth are emerging
As soon as your baby starts to get teeth, you need to schedule them an appointment for the dentist. Your dentist will check your baby's tongue placement, roof of the mouth, how the teeth are coming in, and the overall condition of your child's gums as part of their checkup. Once your baby cuts teeth, they will need to see the dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist will schedule cleanings and checkups as often as they feel your baby needs, often increasing these appointments as they get older.
Your baby's mouth has deformations
Deformities in your baby's mouth may mean that they have to see a dentist earlier than other children typically do. Deformities that are common in the mouth include a cleft lip, lip or tongue tie, and other issues. Don't worry about these conditions; they are often detected in the womb or shortly after birth and can be treated.
However, sometimes children with minor physical mouth impairments have to learn how to chew, swallow, and speak in special ways. If your child has a severe mouth impairment and you've been recommended they see a dentist, take these words seriously and make an appointment with dental services as soon as you can.