When Should My Child’s First Dentist Visit Be?
If you’re a parent, you may not be exactly sure when your child should have their first dentist visit. And chances are, you might not realize just how early that visit should ideally be.
When should a child first visit the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child have their first dental visit by his or her first birthday. Primary “baby” teeth typically start to emerge by around six months of age, so this puts your child’s first visit to the dentist about six months from when teeth start to emerge.
Why is it important for their visit to happen so early?
Primary teeth may not seem as important as permanent “adult” teeth, but it’s very important that they are healthy and kept in place until they’re lost naturally.
Your child’s primary teeth are important for the following reasons:
- Helping with proper chewing and nutrition
- Saving the proper space for permanent teeth
- Helping with speech development
- Promoting a healthy smile and self-confidence
In addition, an early first dentist visit and subsequent care can prevent cavities in young children.
What can the dentist tell you about your child?
Your dentist can help you with the following:
- Explaining and demonstrating how you can care for your child’s mouth and clean his or her teeth
- Understanding the link between your child’s diet and oral health
- Giving information about thumb sucking and teething
- Talking with you about your child’s risk of cavities
- Examining your child’s bite
- Checking your child’s gums and cheeks
- Explaining what will happen next in your child’s oral development
- Setting a schedule for future appointments
How should you choose your child’s first dentist?
Your child’s dentist should have expertise, as well as a calm, caring demeanor. He or she should make your child feel as comfortable as possible and as your child gets older, your dentist should explain things in a non-frightening, child-friendly manner. You should not feel rushed during your appointment or feel as though the dentist isn’t taking time to answer your questions.
If you need to take your child to their first dentist visit, call or stop by one of the many convenient New York area offices. We’re open seven days a week with extended weekday hours for your convenience, and we welcome walk-ins. We’ll make you and your child feel comfortable and will help him or her get started on a lifetime of good dental health.