My dentist is keen to ensure that Elizabeth doesn't have the same dental problems that I've experienced, so he sent home a toothbrush before she even had teeth with strict instructions that she use it "to get used to the idea", and every visit since he checks to see whether she's using it. When he first heard we'd had a baby he took about half an hour or maybe longer to give me a basic overview of emergency dental care for children from zero to eighteen.
Now we've been requested to bring Elizabeth to our next couple of appointments so that she can observe Mommy or Daddy having fun at the dentist, get to know the dentist and possibly sit in the chair for practice if she's brave enough.
This visit I was also reminded that I should start thinking about introducing Elizabeth to the concept of flossing and sent home some children's flossers to try out. "Make sure that the gums are getting massaged adequately when she brushes her teeth. Brushing the face of the teeth isn't important but focus on the gums!"
He also wanted to make sure that we were careful about sticky food, especially dried fruit or fruit rolls. "Dried fruit may be natural, but it's loaded with sugar and stays stuck to the teeth." I actually knew about this already because a five year old girl from our church had to have 11 fillings, 2 root canals and crown last year. Most of the fillings were between the teeth. The parents were very shocked because she wasn't allowed to have candy, but did eat a lot of raisins and fruit bars.