What Age Should You Take Your Child to the Dentist?
One of the most crucial things you can do for your child is to teach them good dental hygiene habits. As a parent, you might be wondering, “How early can my child start seeing a pediatric dentist?” For many kids, their first visit will happen before they turn one year old. By getting your child comfortable with visiting the dentist early on, you can help them establish a positive relationship with the dental office and help solve any dental problems before they escalate.
As your child ages, the time you spend on dental care will change. Here are some guidelines to help you know when it’s appropriate for your kid to start visiting the dentist’s office. It’s never too early to get started with good oral hygiene!
First-year visits are typically scheduled with the baby’s pediatrician. During this appointment, you will learn how to care for your child’s teeth and gums. Getting your child used to the idea of visiting a dentist early on can also prove to be beneficial.
Even before your baby’s teeth come in, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. Use a soft, clean cloth to wipe your baby’s gums with water. You may also choose to use a soft toothbrush designed specifically for children, but it is important to note that you should avoid toothpaste with fluoride until your child is at least two years old. According to the CDC, using too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, which causes changes in the appearance of teeth.
By age 2 or 3, your child will most likely be getting their first set of teeth. At this stage, it’s recommended that your child see a dentist once every six months. Your child may require more frequent visits if they have specific dental issues or are at high risk for cavities and other oral health problems. You can expect your dentist to check your child’s teeth and gums for cavities during these visits.
During this stage, you can expect your dentist to check your child’s teeth and gums and evaluate any adult teeth that may be coming in. It’s also recommended that your child have their first X-ray taken at this stage to check for cavities, tooth decay, and other dental issues.
According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 1 in 5 children under five will be affected by tooth decay. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can help prevent tooth decay and promote healthy teeth and gums.
During this stage, your child will continue to see their dentist every six months. This is around the age where the dentist may suggest an orthodontic evaluation. While most children will wait until their teenage years to get braces, it is a good idea to have an orthodontic evaluation to identify any potential issues early on.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth
It’s essential to help your child develop good oral health habits early on.
Here are some tips for taking care of your kid’s teeth:
- Make sure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day
- Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as their teeth start to get close
- Limit the number of sugary foods and beverages your child consumes
- Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning
Getting your child to brush their teeth can be a challenge, but there are quite a few ways to get your child excited about brushing. By implementing a fun dental care routine for your child early on, you can set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles offers family-friendly dentistry as well as pediatric primary care, all under the same practice. ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles services include orthodontics, preventative dental care, allergy testing, vaccinations, and more. For more information, call (855) 814-9264 or request an appointment today.