If you welcomed a new baby into your life this new year, congratulations! Here’s some (more) free advice.

One of the first things new parents learn is that everyone has an opinion on how they should raise their children – and are perfectly happy to tell it to you, whether you want to hear it or not! But we’re willing to bet that, among the feeding advice and the sleeping advice and the swaddling advice, you’re not getting much dental advice. In fact, your baby’s teeth are likely not even on your radar yet – but they should be.

Those little chompers normally start to make an appearance at anywhere from 4 – 7 months and, as soon as they do, we’d like to see them. If your child still has no teeth by their first birthday, book them in regardless, so we can assess their development. Bringing your baby in to visit the dentist from an early age is important for many reasons, including:

Chewing. Ensuring that their teeth are developing properly will help them get the nutrients they require as they grow.
Speech. Delayed tooth development can lead to speaking difficulties – and we know you’re impatient to hear those first words!
Alignment.  Losing baby teeth too early due to decay can result in the need for orthodontic treatment down the road; in extreme cases it can even affect your child’s facial development.
Future dental health. Helping children get used to the dental surgery from before they’re even forming memories is a wonderful way to prevent dental anxiety in future – and critical for forming a healthy relationship with oral hygiene that will serve them throughout their lives.

So, the big question is, “When should I bring my baby in for his/her first dental check?” The answer is that it’s never too soon. In fact, why not bring your baby in with you when you come for your check-up or hygiene visit – we always love having a chance to ‘ooh and ahh’ over babies anyway! And remember, mum’s dental visits are FREE on the NHS up to one year after you give birth – so be sure to take full advantage.

This will also be a great opportunity for you to ask us any related questions you may have, such as around weaning, diet and the use of dummies – good information to have to hand next time your in-laws try to tell you you’re doing it wrong! You can also check out the fantastic Teeth Team website, which has loads of great advice for parents, and always feel free to call us on 01482 565 488.