What is the right age to take your baby to the dentist? Early dental care is important for a variety of reasons. It’s important to start your child on the right road to a lifetime of dental health, and it begins with the first appointment.
12 Months or When the First Tooth Erupts
Dentists recommend taking your baby to the dentist by their first birthday or within 6 months of the emergence of their first tooth. Most babies get their first tooth somewhere between 6 months and a year old. Usually the two bottom front teeth come in first, followed by the two top front teeth. The rest typically erupt one at a time on either side of the front teeth and on back until the 2 year molars emerge. Then things remain about the same for a few years until the 6 year molars emerge and the first baby tooth becomes loose.
What is the Importance of Such an Early Visit?
It may seem like a one year old is a bit young to take to the dentist. But as long as there is a tooth in place, it should be monitored and cleaned professionally. As soon as a tooth comes through the gums it is susceptible to decay. Even a brand new baby tooth can get a cavity if not properly cared for. Early dental visits also identify any potential problems with the teeth, jaw, or soft tissues of the mouth.
What Does the First Dental Visit Entail?
There’s no need to fear the first dental visit, and that is exactly what we want your baby to learn. The first appointment is more of an introduction than anything, allowing your baby to get used to the idea of going to the dentist. A quick dental checkup and cleaning will typically be done as long as you and your baby are comfortable. Your dentist will also discuss oral hygiene and nutrition with you to ensure your baby’s teeth are healthy and well cared for.
The dentist and staff will take great care to make your baby’s first visit fun and positive, as that will set the tone for future dental visits. Establishing a positive mindset about the dentist is the ultimate goal.
How Often Should You Take Your Child to the Dentist?
After the first appointment, you should return every 6 months. You will be encouraged to schedule the next appointment at each visit so that you can establish and maintain a routine. Professional cleaning of the teeth every 6 months is the ideal time frame to remove plaque from the teeth and prevent decay and gum disease from developing. A twice yearly exam will also identify any potential oral issues that need to be addressed. Early detection of oral issues makes them easier to treat or correct.
What If My Baby Won’t Cooperate?
No problem at all. Sometimes babies will not feel comfortable enough at the first appointment to let the dentist or hygienist do much of an exam or cleaning. This is perfectly fine. The last thing you want is for your baby to feel upset or scared so that they develop a negative attitude about going to the dentist. Babies and toddlers are not always interested in sitting still, opening wide, and having someone poke around in their mouth. We do our best to encourage them to do so in the friendliest possible way.
Nowak Family Dental Sees Patients of All Ages
Is it time for your baby’s first dental appointment? At Nowak Family Dental we accept even the youngest patients at around 12 months of age. We know that a baby’s first appointment is important to help them develop a good feeling about the dentist. And for your convenience, we not only provide pediatric dentistry, but comprehensive dental care for the whole family at one location.