When Should You Start Taking Your Child to the Dentist?

If you’re a first-time parent, you may not know what the right time will be to take your child to the dentist for the first time. Children should be going to dentists yearly, and oftentimes taking your children becomes a priority over visiting the dentist considering the fact that kids between 2 and 17 made up 85.9% of the dental visits in 2018. If you’re starting to think about your child’s first trip to the dentist, consider the following information and advice.

First Dentist Appointment

The ideal time for your child to see a dentist is before their first birthday, but because your child will be so young, you have to make sure to properly plan for the appointment. On your first visit, your dentist will examine your child’s oral health, including checking their teeth, gums, and jaw to see if there’s normal development. The dentist will also look for any injuries and cavities. The hygienist will clean your child’s teeth using a toothbrush or wet fabric.

To know your child better, the dentist will ask questions about tooth decay, pacifiers or thumb sucking, intake of fluoride, and eating and drinking habits. Many children may not need X-rays at age six before they develop molars. But your dentist may advise using the machine to assess any signs of tooth decay.

Older Children

When your child reaches between 6-12 years of age, you should focus on prevention. That’s because it’s the time for developing permanent teeth. However, dentists may use a sealant or a plastic resin when your child’s age ranges from 7-9 years to protect the teeth against decay. The resin stops harmful bacteria from getting into the teeth’ grooves.

At the age of 7, dentists could also recommend an orthodontic examination for your child. The health specialists will look at how your child’s jaw is developing. They examine crooked teeth to see any skeletal causes for them.

Dentists will also emphasize the importance of regular dental visits, flossing, and brushing. They may ask you to schedule dental appointments every three or six months. As a result, your child will get familiar with their dentist and the practice. As your child grows up, they’ll appreciate good oral hygiene.

What Can You Do to Prepare Your Child for the First Dentist’s Visit?

An excellent dental appointment is any time except during your child’s sleeping hours. They can cooperate with the dentists or health workers when they’re wide awake, so try not to schedule an appointment during what would usually be nap time for younger children.

Ensure your child is well-fed and their teeth are clean. They’ll avoid fidgeting while the dentist exams them. Kids tend to fear dentists or any doctor in general. Before and during the dentist’s visit, let your child know the doctor means no harm. If you keep these ideas and tips in mind, your child can have a better time visiting the dentist and have a happier time getting a healthier smile.

Contact Our Fuquay-Varina Dentist Today for a Checkup

Make sure your child’s teeth are getting the care they need right from the start. To schedule an appointment, call us at (919) 552-2431 or fill out our appointment request form.