Angie's List: Child dentist

Taking your child to the dentist regularly can help ease their fears.
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According to the American Dental Association, 75 percent of people have a fear of the dentist, and 10 percent of those fears turn into phobias. But taking your child to the dentist while they are young can help ease those fears.

Nineteen-month-old Reagan is just like her father.

"I am going to be honest with you, when I was a kid, I would always throw up when I went to the dentist. Actually, it was pretty much a regular occurrence," said Reagan's father, Clark Rehme.

But Rehme knows his little girl needs to see the dentist.

"The gold standard is 12 months of age. We also know that there are some kids that are at a very low risk of tooth decay that don't need to start until they're sometime between the age of 16 (months), but surely by 19 months," said pediatric dentist Dr. Charles Poland III, DDS.

"When looking for a dentist, you want to find someone who relates well to children," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

A pediatric dentist is the best bet for your child's first few dental visits. Again, you need your child to be in that chair by their first birthday. You want a dentist who can make the experience positive and it's important as a parent that you can learn from the dentist as well.

"We teach the parent how to brush the child's teeth, particularly emphasize at the gum line. Then we talk a lot about diet and nutrition and the modern nutrition for kids under three or four is milk and water only. If they have any kind of juice, chocolate milk, flavored milk, it should be restricted to just 4-6 ounces, given with a meal and that's all," Poland said.

Poland also reminds parents to not put food, pacifiers or utensils in your mouth and then in your baby's mouth, because cavity causing germs are easily passed to infants and toddlers.

Healthy habits are always passed down.

"Being a first-time parent, I find myself brushing quite a bit more now," Rehme said.

Before teeth begin to come in, gently clean your baby's gums with a clean soft cloth after each feeding. This will help your baby get used to having their gums and teeth cleaned.