When Should I First Take My Child to See the Dentist?
The oral health of a child is an integral part of their overall health. It is important to introduce a child to the dentist during the early stages of his or her development because this forms a part of their oral care experience. By introducing your child to the dentist at the right time, he can grow accustomed and comfortable to any future dental clinic visits. Bringing your child to the dentist at a later stage of development can lead to incessant levels fear and anxiety.
When to Go to the Dentist
One of the most common questions asked by parents is the time when they should take their child for his first dental clinic visit.
It is highly recommended to bring your child to his first dentist experience within six months of the first baby tooth or when he turns one year old.
The upper incisors usually erupt between 6 to 10 months while the lower central incisors erupt between 8-12 months. The very first appointment with your child’s dentist is all about meeting and greeting the parents and the child. Information is collected for medical and dental information. Make sure that the first visit is casual and fun like a playdate. Encourage your child to play with dental related toys in the clinic while waiting for your the appointment. At SunnyView Dental, we refer to this first appointment as the “Happy Visit”.
While it is ideal to bring your child to the dentist during his first birthday, some families may be challenged financially and the first dentist appointment is not until 3 years old. During this age, a child may have already developed cavities and the experience may not be a pleasant one. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Starting Good Dental Habits
Show your child that you are brushing your teeth. Start early and make the whole experience fun. By doing this, you will encounter very little resistance because this has been something that they are already used to doing.
Choosing your Dentist
When you are choosing your child’s dentist, the tendency is to bring him to someone who has attended to the parent’s dental care. This is a good choice especially if the dentist has experience with kids. There is also the consideration of bringing your kid to a pediatric dentist because he will be more experienced with children. His clinic is more likely to have plenty of distractions to keep the child from getting bored or throwing tantrums while in the dental chair.