When should I take my child to his/her first dental visit?
The general rule is that you should bring your child to the dentist 6 months after their first tooth appears. However, it is preferred that you bring your child for their first visit no later than their first birthday.
Why is it important to bring my child so soon?
New parents are often shocked about how early it’s recommended that you bring your child to the dentist. However, child cavities are growing more and more common. 25% of children experience at least one cavity by the age of two, and tooth decay can begin as soon as there is a tooth present in your child’s mouth. Cavities from milk, baby food, and sucking are not unheard of, either. Bringing your child to the dentist early on helps to prevent your child from getting cavities. Just like with other diseases, children are more at risk for cavities if you, the parent, are as well.
Engendering a good rapport between your child, their dentist, and their dental health is also important. Family dentistry is dedicated to helping you and your loved ones experience many years of happy and healthy teeth. Starting your child early gives them time to become acclimated to the environment of family dentistry and experience less anxiety over the dentist later in their life. By allowing your dentist to build a relationship with your child early on, you also help to foster a feeling of safety and dependability in dental care in your child.
These sorts of emotional benefits shouldn’t be overlooked. Setting the tone for your child to be actively involved in healthcare is one of the most important steps. Without these, your child may find it difficult to lead a life of effective oral hygiene.
You as a parent also have a responsibility to keep your child’s teeth clean at home while they are too young. Your dentist will go over how much fluoride is necessary for your child to maintain healthy teeth. They will also teach you the proper techniques for caring for your child’s teeth.
Setting an example at home can be good, too. By showing your child your dedication to oral hygiene, you make it easier for your child to grow into good oral hygiene as well.
Takeaways for you and your family
You should bring your child to the dentist six months after the appearance of their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. This is to help ensure your child minimizes any experiences with early cavities, as well as to acquaint them with family dentistry in general. During their first visit, you will also learn how to properly care for your child’s oral health at home — an invaluable lesson for both you and your child.