This is a common question parents contemplate as their child starts developing teeth. The short and simple answer is to begin dental check-ups by the time the first tooth appears (often around 6 months of age) or by the first birthday. Not all kids develop teeth at the same pace, and it is normal for children to develop at different rates.
The first visit with the dentist will help familiarize your child with the office staff and the dentist, with the intention of reducing any anxieties or fears the child may have, and creating plenty of stress-free visits in the future. This visit connects your child to a dental home, the place where you can take your child from year to year. It helps the dentist get to know your child and the family’s needs, so your child will have the best of care. It will also allow the dentist to educate parents about how to care for their baby’s teeth. We enjoy demonstrating brushing techniques, discussing feeding, oral habits, and recommending dental care products.
Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay (decay can start to occur as soon as teeth appear). If your child does get decay, they can suffer pain and infection, resulting in trouble eating, sleeping, and learning.
Reassuring communication and patience from you, the parent or caregiver, is very important; after the first visit, it is recommended to continue bringing in your child every six months. These short, successive visits can be valuable if your child needs to be seen later on for any dental problems. It is also beneficial to help your child brush and floss their teeth until they reach the age of 8; this will aid in them keeping a consistent oral hygiene routine.