The first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on your child's age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development.
On your first dental visit, the pediatric dentist focuses more on making the child comfortable with the doctor and the environment. They focus on building a friendly bond with the child. Also introduces the child to different functions of the dental chair in a playful manner.
The dentist will discuss the importance of oral hygiene with you and your child in hopes of creating good oral habits.
If you & the pediatric dentist both feel that your child is comfortable & ready, the dentist will do an oral exam & if required a possible dental x-ray.
The second visit - Just like adults, children should see the dentist every 6 months. The dentist may schedule visits more often, such as every 3 months. This can build comfort and confidence in the child. More frequent visits can also help keep an eye on a development problem.
How Important Are Teeth Cleaning for Kids?
One common worry for parents is the health and state of their child’s teeth. We want those pearly whites to be healthy, at least until the tooth fairy makes her first appearance. After that, we want our children’s permanent teeth to last well into their old age. But even keeping baby teeth healthy is important. There are ways to help your child learn the importance of oral health long before they begin to care about it themselves
While it’s true that most of us lose our baby teeth during early childhood, it’s still important to keep our children’s first teeth healthy. Why? Well first, some dentists say that decay on baby teeth can make adult permanent teeth more likely to have decay as well. However, healthy baby teeth indicate healthy gums, which leads to the healthy eruption of secondary teeth.
Healthy baby teeth are also evidence that your child is developing a healthy oral cleaning routine that will follow them into their adulthood. So it really is a good idea to stress to your children the importance of regular brushing and flossing. Plus, having healthy, straight and shiny teeth on school picture day is always desired.
It’s very important for your children to see a dentist regularly for dental cleanings. A lot can happen to a child’s mouth over the course of a year, and a dentist can spot potential problems early. They can check for decay, loose teeth, gum issues, infections, or jaw problems. All of these more serious problems, when caught early, can be fixed or treated with a minimum of cost and invasiveness.
Regular dental cleanings for children are also necessary because they’re more likely to have dental caries, otherwise known as the dreaded cavity, within the first 10 years of their lives. Regular trips to the dentist can help to fix these cavities before they become large and painful or lead to other problems. Going to the dentist will also curb these cavities from happening in the first place.
Brushing and flossing are very important for a child’s at-home dental hygiene routine. However, alone they aren’t enough to keep your child’s mouth healthy. Dentists can clean between teeth where children develop tartar and residue that isn’t removed during their daily brushing and flossing.
When Should I Take My Child to the Dentist
Children can start going to the dentist as early as the eruption of their first teeth. However, the general consensus is that children should begin regular dental exams and cleanings starting around one year of age. Remember, it is never too early to start getting your child used to cleaning their gums and teeth. Lightly rubbing your child’s gums with a clean washcloth or finger brush will help acclimate them to the idea that we need to clean our mouths regularly. This will make the transition to toothbrushing and dental exams much easier as your child grows older.
Sometime between the age of two and six, the dentist will want to get x-rays of your child’s jaw and teeth. These will be done yearly thereafter. These x-rays assist in detecting cavities in-between teeth as well as any malformations of the jaw. Also, when your child is around 6 or 9 years old, your dentist may suggest a sealant be placed over their teeth to further help prevent cavities. When you have regularly scheduled appointments at the dentist, he or she will also be able to advise you if braces will be needed to help your child’s teeth straighten.
Preparing your child for a lifetime of oral health doesn’t need to be a chore. If you want your child to have healthy teeth and gums then simplicity is best. Make sure they brush and floss daily and take them to a dentist every six months. A good dentist will help you and your child continue a healthy at-home oral care routine. A great dentist will ease your child’s anxiety about regular dental visits and procedures. Children will appreciate learning about proper dental hygiene from a doctor, and they may even come to enjoy their regular visits.