A frequent question we get from parents of young children and expectant parents is when their child should first start seeing a dentist. Most of them are quite surprised at the current recommendation for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The AAPD currently recommends all children see a dentist when their first tooth erupts and no later than 1 year of age.
Why is it important to take your child at such a young age and why is it so important to worry about baby teeth? One of the biggest reasons to bring your child to a dentist at a young age is so your dentist can help you as a parent learn how to properly care for your child’s teeth. Many aspects of dental care in children aren’t common knowledge ranging from how to brush their teeth to knowing not to put a baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice to avoid tooth decay. Even though your child will lose his or her baby teeth as they grow, it is important to keep them as long as possible in order to maintain space for the adult teeth. Children that lose baby teeth prematurely are more likely to need costly braces later on to regain lost space for the adult teeth.
Aside from educating parents, we will evaluate their teeth for decay and make sure their dental development is progressing as it should. Starting at a young age helps children become more comfortable being at a dental office rather than finding it a scary place. When a child who is 5, 6, or 7 comes to our office for the first time in their life they are often terrified because no one has ever looked in their mouth before and they hear rumors of needles and other things that sound scary to them. When they start out young it becomes something they are used to and they know there is nothing to be scared about. We always make sure dental appointments for young children are fun and filled with laughter, prizes, and of course no pain!
If you think it is time to bring your child in for their first dental visit please give us a call so we can provide you both with an excellent first time experience!