Today we visited the dentist for the first time. It felt a bit strange going there as our son has no teeth yet, but they are keen to see new babies around 6 months old so we went along.
Before we could be seen, we had to register our son. This involved filling out a form, which I assume is a standard New Patient form they hand out to anyone regardless of age. I had to laugh when it asked if he has ever served in the Army. Emm, no.
It’s actually quite good timing for us going to the dentist, as we think his first tooth isn’t far away. He has been showing signs of teething for a few months now, since before Christmas, but last night it seemed to kick up a gear. He was up a couple of times in the night with the pain and has been restless all morning. I even thought I felt a tooth but after the dentist checked it was just the little bit of gum in the top middle of his gums (there’s probably a medical name for it, but I don’t know it).
The dentist appointment was really just a chance for us to meet the dentist, who gave us some advice about brushing, what food and drink is ok, what to avoid, etc. Basically all the stuff you learnt as a kid. One part that I hadn’t heard before was that teeth can defend itself against 3-4 sugar attacks a day. Any more than that is when the real problems start.
Children’s teeth can handle 3 sugar “attacks” a day, whereas adults can handle 4. What this means is if you eat/drink all your sugary things in no more than 3/4 sittings per day it isn’t as bad for you as if you eat some sugary stuff regularly throughout the day. For example if you have a bag of sweets, it’s better for your teeth if you eat the whole bag in one go than to graze and eat them gradually throughout the day. Of course, the best option for your teeth would be to avoid sugary treats, and you still of course need to brush and floss, but this is something I’ve never heard of before so I thought I would share it.
So, back to baby teeth. The general advise was to wait until we see the tooth appear then start brushing it right away. We see the dentist again at 12 months, so hopefully he will have a mouth full of teeth by then!