When should be the first dental visit of a child?

By January 8, 2020Dental Health
Child visiting the dentist

It is one of the very first milestones for any newborn – the appearance of the first tooth! And why not? Seeing the little ridges of the tooth popping through the gums when they smile is very adorable! Even with all of the accompanying drool. That first tooth will soon be joined by another, and another.

Cuteness aside, it can also be a painful time for the baby (and the parents in some cases). Even as an adult, any amount of pain in the mouth can really be uncomfortable. That’s why a teething ring can be so helpful, especially when cooled. It can bring comfort to those gums where the teeth are erupting.

While it’s not necessary to take a child to the dentist at the first sign of teeth, that is the time to start thinking about scheduling a visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should be visiting the dentist six months after the first tooth appears.

Most children start having baby teeth come in around six months of age. That means the first visit should be around 12 to 18 months of age. While there are guidelines as to when teeth will appear in the mouth, there can be considerable variability between babies so a delay does not necessarily indicate there is a problem.

Of course, if you are worried about the dental development of your child, feel free to schedule a dental care visit with a dentist. They will give you the oral health information you need to make sure a young child will grow up with strong, healthy teeth.

Why Is A Visit To The Dentist Important?

A study conducted in 2009 found that the average age of children in the United States seeing a dentist for the first time was 2.6-years-old. The study also found the nearly one-third of those young children hadn’t been to the dentist at all. A visit to the dentist will help familiarize the child with the dental experience.

It is important to remember that juice and other sugary liquids in a bottle can be very damaging to the teeth. This is especially important at night if a baby is put to bed with a bottle. I that case, water is better than drinks that have sugar and/or acids.

Benefits of taking the baby to the dentist

When that first tooth says hello, it’s a great time to introduce the baby to toothbrushing. In fact, brushing is an important part of dental health care no matter the age. Early on, a clean damp washcloth will work for one or two teeth. As more teeth appear, a soft-bristled toothbrush works well and can help start your child on a healthy habit.

Another advantage of getting your child into the dental chair around the first birthday is to make them feel comfortable going to the dentist and familiarize them with the dental office. Often this first visit will be a ‘happy visit’ and include a visual examination of the mouth.

If you have questions about when to bring that big bundle of joy into the dentist or have questions about their dental development, contact Creekside Dental today. We have years of experience with youngsters, as well as their parents and grandparents, and pride ourselves on the long-term relationships we’ve made with generations of families.