Your child can gain several benefits from early dental visits. These initial visits are somewhat different from what you are used to with your bi-annual checkups. Rather your child’s dentist examines your child’s teeth and looks for signs of potential developmental problems that could become an issue in the future.
By identifying potential problems now, it can make it easier to correct them sooner, rather than later. These early visits also helps your child to get accustomed to and comfortable with being in the dental office and allow them to start to build trust with their dentist and hygienist.
What age is best for a first-time dental visit?
According to the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry), they recommend parents bring their child into see a dentist for the first time after their first tooth develops, or on their first birthday, even if they have not developed any teeth.1 While some parents might feel this is a bit young for a first time dental visit, they need to understand the purpose of this visit to verify their child’s teeth, gums, and jaw are growing and developing correctly.
When will my child have an actual cleaning?
It really depends on the age of the child, their ability to sit still, and other such factors. On average, by age three is when most children will get an actual cleaning. By this time they should have around twenty teeth that are fully developed. Keeping the baby teeth clean helps stop tooth decay and cavities, and ensures they remain useful until their permanent teeth start erupting somewhere between age five and six.
Your dentist and hygienist will work with you and your child to determine the most appropriate age for their first cleaning. A full detailed cleaning like you receive is not always possible at early ages. Instead, the dentist and hygienist work with the child to get them used to brushing their teeth. They also take time to educate parents so parents can help with brushing and flossing at home.
Why are regular visits for children important?
It is a common misconception that parents don’t have to worry about bringing their child to the dentist until they start developing permanent teeth. However, by this point, there can already be several developmental problems that could have been potentially identified, addressed, and corrected.
Aside from monitoring and identify potential developmental problems, along with addressing concerns over tooth decay and cavities, regular visits to the dentist are important for other reasons too. For instance, the number of baby teeth your child has is an essential component of learning to speak and speak clearly. If your child has lost teeth prematurely due to cavities and tooth decay, they can have a more difficult time in learning to pronounce words and develop proper speech patterns.
To learn more about the importance of early childhood dental visits or to schedule an appointment for your child, please feel free to contact Oasis Family Dental at (807) 623-2662 today!