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When Should A Child See A Dentist For The First Time?

Experts say that kids should go to the dentist by their first birthdays. Good dental care starts early. When kids don’t get the dental care that they need, they may suffer serious consequences. A study published in 2011, in The American Journal of Public Health, showed that poor oral health in children led to academic problems and absences from school. Taking your son or daughter to the dentist near his or her first birthday is one of the most caring and responsible things that you can do as a parent. If you haven’t taken your child to the dentist by age one, take him or her as soon as you can.

How to prepare your child

You may worry about taking a very young child to the dentist. Don’t worry too much. Most dentists have a lot of experience taking care of babies and toddlers. You may get your child excited about what’s going to happen by going to your local library and choosing a children’s book about going to the dentist. Read the story at bedtime. When your child associates a trip to the dentist with something comforting (i.e. you reading a story), he or she will await the visit in a positive frame of mind. Some books about going to the dentist feature characters that kids love, such as Caillou and Dora the Explorer.  

How often should your child go?

Your child should see a dentist once every six months. This recommendation comes from The American Association for Pediatric Dentistry. Tartar and plaque buildup by six months and need to be removed by a licensed dentist. When you stick to this sensible schedule, you’ll know that your child is being well taken care of.

Preventing cavities in babies

A popular toothpaste company has some helpful tips for parents who want to minimize or eliminate children’s cavities. The company recommends using a soft baby toothbrush and water to care for an infant’s mouth and any emerging teeth.  Another suggestion is to avoid giving baby bottles with sugary drinks to your infant. Sugary drinks trigger tooth decay. Dental caries is a serious issue for babies. However, the New York Times reports that dental caries in infants are not as prevalent as they were in previous years. Parents are paying more attention to the oral health of their babies and young children.

What about older kids?

You may help your child to brush and floss until your little one is old enough to do it by himself or herself. You may also promote good oral health by offering healthy snacks and drinks. Examples of healthy snacks that don’t promote tooth decay include unsweetened peanut butter, fresh fruit, veggies, cheese, and yogurt. Water and milk are the most appropriate drink options for children.

Now that you know when you should take your child to the dentist, as well as how often your son or daughter should go to the dentist, you’ll be ready to take good care of your child’s teeth. The dental health tips shared here will assist you with caring for your child’s teeth at home.


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17 Comments

  1. My dentist recommended that I bring my daughter in for her first dental visit around the age of 6 months or whenever her first tooth comes in.

  2. This is very helpful, although I had no problems the first time my child visited our dentist near me.

  3. I LOVE this. When I had my first-born, I was dreading the first dentist trip but the dentist helped a lot with his first dentist visit. He even received sugar-free candy afterwards! How sweet.

  4. Healthy snacks are hard to persuade a kid to eat, but thankfully our dentist is really good at persuading them.

  5. I consulted my dentist at Peak Dental of Austin, TX during my pregnancy days to find out things about my baby’s dental health so that I can place a reminder for his first dental check-up and the dentists told me to visit when the child turns one. I still have a few months before my child’s first dental appointment and I’m already curious to know if his dental health is good or bad. 🙂

  6. I think parents should ensure their child is enrolled in a dental plan when his or her first tooth emerges. Some family insurance plans may have an enrollment period with a limited window, which could delay the start of care, Goodson notes. And it might take time to get an appointment with a preferred dentist.
    Peter M recently posted…How to Fix Christmas Lights without a TesterMy Profile

  7. As a mother of a 4 month old child what bothers me most is maintaining oral hygiene for him. I read a number of articles and write-ups to get a clear idea of the right age at which I should first take him to the dentist and this blog is the complete information that I needed. To whoever has written this blog – Thankyou!

    I feel a lot more confident now and shall soon book an appointment with pediatric dentist at Peak Dental, Pflugerville.

  8. First things first – child’s dental care should be one of the most important matters of concern for parents and if you’re ignoring this then you’re not doing parenting right. read this blog and see what you need to do to take care of your child’s dental health and wellness. The dental health tips shared here will assist you with caring for your child’s teeth at home.

  9. Excellent post! The information you have shared through this article is really outstanding and I found it very useful for me. Bookmarked this article and will come back for more articles. Thank you for sharing superb information.

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