Parenting can be hard, and each month seems to bring its own set of questions. When should my child walk? When should he or she say their first word? When is the best time to take my child to the dentist for the first time? The answer to the last question is very surprising for most people to realize. Maintaining your child’s oral health plays an important role in keeping their overall health in check. A child’s first dental visit can be a life-changing experience and can help lay the groundwork for good oral hygiene throughout their lives.
At What Age, Should my Child go to the Dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a child’s first dental visit should take place on their first birthday or when their first tooth appears. This dental visit gives parents the opportunity to address their child’s oral health in a variety of ways. The first dental visit for your child is the foundation for lifelong dental health. However, the decision of when to bring your child in for their first check-up is up to you. Some signs that your child may need to see the dentist earlier than their first birthday include having a fever, swollen gums, trouble swallowing, drooling excessively, and refusing to eat. When a child experiences dental pain or discomfort, it is difficult to determine if the pain or discomfort is normal or not. If you feel your child needs to see a dentist, you should make an appointment.
The Best Age to Start Regular Cleanings
We recommend bringing your child in for regular cleanings at the age of three. At this age, your child can better communicate their discomfort to you and your pediatric dentist. When going to your own dental appointments, start introducing your child to the dentist and allow the dentist to speak freely with your child.
Taking your child to the dentist at an early age will teach them how to care for their own teeth. It also allows you to catch issues early on, eliminate many dental fears your child may have, and help develop a daily oral care routine. As a parent, it’s reassuring to have a professional answering your questions and guiding you through the process.
The Importance of Bringing Your Child To The Dentist
Primary teeth, known as baby teeth, appear around the age of six months. Your child will have 20 primary teeth by the age of three. Although your child’s primary teeth are only present for a short period, it is still important we care for them. These teeth assist your child in speaking clearly, eating, swallowing, and making room in the jaws for the permanent teeth.
We recommend your child see a pediatric dentist at least every 6 months. These visits emphasize dental education for parents in efforts to establish routines that will prevent cavities and keep your child pain-free. During visits, a parent will frequently sit with their child at the examination, providing comfort for the child and allowing for concerns or points of discussion. Consider it an opportunity for your child to test the waters. Children who become accustomed to going to the dental office have a more positive attitude about going. It’s an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with the dentist’s chair, equipment, and lighting so that dental visits are more bearable.
What Happens at Your Child’s First Dental Checkup?
When your appointment time arrives, a hygienist will:
- Check and clean your child’s teeth.
- Teach you how to clean your child’s teeth and promote good oral hygiene.
- Examine their diet and fluoride requirements.
- Provide oral care products.
Your dentist will accompany you and your child and will:
- Check your child’s mouth for tooth decay.
- Discuss any issues they have about your child’s oral development.
- Answer questions you may have about your child’s teeth and oral formation.
What Happens If You Postpone Your Child’s First Dental Appointment?
Your child will do the following if his or her primary teeth are healthy:
- Chew properly
- Create appropriate speech patterns
Delaying your child’s first dental visit can lead to problems such as:
- Grinding of the teeth
- Infection of the teeth
- Oral hygiene practices, which are inadequate
While you’re commemorating all the firsts in your child’s life, don’t forget to include your child’s first dental visit! Dental exams are essential for your children, especially when they are young. It not only keeps their pearly whites clean and bright but also helps them get a jump start on their dental health.
Ready to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Appointment?
Your child’s first dental appointment is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful, and that’s why we’re here to help! Make an appointment for your child’s dental visit with Sunnyside Dental Care!