Are you a new parent wondering when you need to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment? You’re not alone. There are many misconceptions about when you should take your child to the dentist. In fact, 1 in 6 parents believe that children don’t need to visit the dentist until age 4 or older. By this time, decay and other problems have already developed. Oral health is a major factor that affects your child’s overall health and wellbeing. This is why experts recommend taking your child to the dentist within 6 months of their first tooth eruption, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.
Dental disease is the most common childhood chronic disease. Early dental visits can prevent tooth decay. Exposure to the dentist also builds comfort and trust for your child. Dental anxiety is very common and is problematic for sustaining oral health in the future. Bringing your child to the dentist early also allows for discussions and education about good oral health habits.
The dentist can also provide helpful guidance on baby bottle tooth decay, infant feeding practices, pacifier habits, and finger sucking habits. This information is helpful to understand before oral issues arise.
Once your child’s first tooth emerges, start brushing their teeth daily and schedule their first appointment. To prepare for the appointment, show your child pictures or videos of a dentist before their visit. It is also a good tip to schedule a morning appointment so young children are more alert and fresh. Have your child’s full medical history available and tell your dentist about any notable behaviors such as fear or stubbornness so they can make your child’s experience as positive as possible. The first visit may include a full examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues. They will also check on their oral growth and development.
Selecting your child's first dentist is an important decision. The first relationship your child has with a dentist can leave a lasting impression. At Blooming Smiles, our team provides expert care to our patients. You can trust that we will provide a positive experience for you and your child. Contact us to schedule an appointment!