It’s a significant moment when a child gets their first tooth. New parents may document the milestone and share the news with their loved ones. When you celebrate this momentous event, you may ask your family when you should start implementing oral hygiene habits for your little one.
What Age Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
When do you take a baby to the dentist? The recommended age for a child’s first dentist visit is within 6 months of their first tooth eruption or 12 months of age. Getting an early start on your child’s preventive dental care may stop small problems before they occur and start treatment for issues before they worsen.
Taking your child to the dentist early could raise some concerns or questions as a parent. Learn about the benefits of bringing your child to the dentist early in life and how it might improve your child’s dental hygiene habits.
Benefits of Early Dental Care
Early dental care is equally beneficial for children and their parents. The dentist can educate the parents on oral hygiene practices and tips on caring for their children’s teeth, and children get more familiar with the dentist and what the dentist’s job is.
Other benefits of early dental care can include:
- Children having better oral hygiene habits
- Healthier mouth because of regular visits
- Preventing cavities or tooth decay
- Familiarity with the dentist
- Parental support from the dentist
One of the most common dental diseases for children is cavities or tooth decay, with about 20% of children ages 5 to 11 years old having one untreated decayed tooth. Preventing problems before they occur and educating children on the importance of going to the dentist is essential to their overall health.
A dentist can also tell parents when to expect their child’s primary teeth to come in and how to ease any pain associated with a new tooth eruption.
Choosing to bring your child to the dentist early can assist in other aspects of their dental health, including their gums or dental safety. Early dental visits can also help ease a child’s comfort at the dentist.
More Familiar With the Dentist
A significant part of a child’s first dentist visit is getting comfortable with the dentist and understanding why regular checkups are part of keeping them healthy. Early dental visits allow children to experience sitting in the dentist’s chair for the first time and learning about teeth cleanings.
It’s crucial to choose a dentist who knows how to interact with children and make them feel safe. Children whose parents or caregivers fail to introduce them to the dentist at a young age may develop anxiety associated with the dentist. Dental offices with the knowledge and experience of providing children’s dentistry services allow them to give children the undivided attention they need for their young teeth.
What Services Can Children’s Dentistry Include?
Dental offices that offer children’s dentistry services can provide:
- Dental sealants and fluoride treatments
- Dental exams for young children and infants
- Nutritional counseling for dental health
- Children’s oral hygiene care tips and best practices
Dentists with experience providing dental treatment to young children may be better at putting children at ease and give them a positive experience at the dentist’s office. More visits with the dentist can help maintain a healthy mouth and monitor your child’s oral hygiene.
Early Monitoring for Dental Problems
As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, they can be susceptible to tooth decay, gum infections, uneven teeth spacing and cracked teeth. Early dental visits can help monitor oral health and catch small problems in time for treatment.
Childhood tooth decay is a prominent reason for children to have regular dental visits. Children snacking close to bedtime or babies falling asleep after drinking juice, milk or formula from a bottle may cause tooth decay or cavities. A way to check if your child is experiencing any tooth decay is to look for dark teeth or faint white lines or spots on your child’s teeth.
The dentist can notice any signs of cavities or tooth decay and treat your child to avoid pain or infection.
Like adults, children’s gums can become infected. This issue can occur if the parents or child aren’t caring for their teeth properly. The dentist can catch signs of early gum disease and give instructions on how to better brush and floss your child’s teeth.
Regular dentist visits can help monitor the alignment and spacing of your child’s teeth. Primary teeth can fall out early and affect the spacing of other incoming teeth. The dentist can keep an eye on these changes and plan for future orthodontic care if needed.
Accidents can happen, especially with children. The dentist can give safety tips to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and provide treatment for specific accidents and issues.
Some safety precautions you can implement include:
- Keep any hard or unsafe items away from babies and children. Chewing on these items can crack their teeth.
- Carefully watch children as they’re learning how to walk or stand up. Babies can fall and crack a tooth.
Regular dentist visits can help monitor and treat any cracks or chips on a child’s teeth.
During your child’s first dental appointment, the dentist can provide helpful information about how to take care of your child’s teeth and gums. The dentist can offer parents support as they face any issues or have any questions about their child’s oral hygiene.
Questions the dentist may ask about your child are:
- What kind of toothpaste or toothbrush does your child use?
- How many cups of juice are they drinking a day?
- Are they drinking milk or formula throughout the night?
- How is brushing going?
- Are they still on a pacifier or sucking their thumb?
This information can help you and the dentist care for your child’s teeth properly and implement excellent oral hygiene habits for your child.
Schedule Your Child’s First Dentist Visit at Inglewood Family Dental
You can trust the team at Inglewood Family Dental to provide excellent dental services to your child.
Inglewood Family Dental is a general dentist clinic whose dentists enjoy working with children. We can offer treatment to every member of your family and provide a positive experience for your child’s first dental appointment. Our compassionate team can help ease your child’s anxiety associated with the dentist.
To visit Inglewood Family Dental, request an appointment online or call us to schedule a visit.