The First Dentist Visit: When Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
When you’re a parent, you want to make sure that you’re always doing what’s best for your baby. That’s true for every aspect of their lives, from the tips of their sweet heads to the bottom of their cute baby toes. But one aspect of baby care that we often overlook for longer than we should is oral care.
When should a child go to the dentist for the first time? The answer is actually a lot sooner than you think.
In this article, we’ll talk more about a child’s first dental visit, from when they should go to what you should expect.
When Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
Most parents don’t take their child to see the dentist until they’re much older than two years old, which is much later than what the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a healthy checkup appointment six months after their first tooth starts to emerge, no later than their first birthday.
Why Should Babies Go to the Dentist?
As soon as their first tooth pokes through their gums, the risk of tooth decay increases. Over the last few years, early tooth decay has been on the rise, and this is in large part because parents are allowing their children to have sugary drinks and are neglecting their dental care.
The general belief is that because they’re temporary “baby” teeth, they aren’t as important as the permanent “adult” teeth. However, even baby teeth can get cavities (which can be painful and lead to infection).
But it’s much more than pain. Cavities and infection of baby teeth will lead to issues with the permanent teeth that are forming underneath the primary teeth.
The First Visit
During the first visit, the dentist will talk to you about how to start taking care of your baby’s teeth now. They’ll talk to you about starting an oral health routine, and they’ll show you how to brush and floss a young child’s teeth.
The dentist will ask questions about your child’s habits, like what kind of liquids they drink, their use of a pacifier, and whether they’re breast or bottle fed. If your child is up to it, or if there are stains on your baby’s teeth, the dentist might clean them and apply a topical fluoride treatment afterward.
Your Role in Your Child’s Dental Care
Good oral hygiene is important to a completely healthy toddler. So, when should a child go to the dentist? No later than their first birthday. Six months after their first tooth pokes through their gums is the better time to take them, but make sure you get them there by the time they turn 1.