Ensuring healthy teeth and gums is paramount for good health among children. Early dental care establishes a relationship with dentist and children that carries forward throughout life. Dentists that understand how to interact with kids allows for an ease of care that eliminates the stress and fear among kids and makes life so much easier for parents!
As to when you should introduce your child to their dentist: The American Academy of General Dentistry recommends that your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before their first birthday. The general rule is six months after that first tooth comes in! And that first tooth typically shows up around 6-8 months of age, so early introduction to a dentist sets the foundation for a lifetime habit.
On the first visit, parents can expect:
- A gentle but thorough examination of their child’s teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues to monitor growth and development and observe any problem areas
- If indicated, a gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar buildup or stains
- A demonstration on proper home dental care
- Assessment of the need for fluoride
Follow up appointments every six months, just as with adults, should be the norm. More frequent (every 3 months) visits can be scheduled if frequency will promote greater ease and familiarity at the dentist for the child.