Your child’s first dental visit
I had the pleasure of speaking to many new moms at the Baby and Tot Show a few weeks ago. Through my conversations with them, it was evident there was conflicting information on when they should bring their child in for their first dental visit. So when is the best age to bring your child to the dentist?
The best age to bring your child in for their first dental visit is within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will let the dentist catch small problems early.
It is a good idea to acclimate your infant to dental care by wiping his or her gums with a clean, wet cloth after feeding. By the age of two, all of an infant’s teeth are usually visible. See the tooth arrival chart below.
When your child is about 2 years of age and can better understand a visit to the dentist, start generating excitement at home. One of our prime objectives is to make your child a good dental patient who will be able to accept routine dental treatment. This process must begin at home. Listed are some suggestions to guide you.
Pointers for Parents
- DON’T bribe your child to go to the dentist or threaten a visit as punishment. This could result in lifelong negative attitudes.
- DON’T let your child be aware of any anxiety you may feel about his or her dental visit or your own visits.
- DON’T let others tell your child frightening stories about dental visits. Explain to the child that they should ignore scary stories of other children and adults and depend on you and the dentist for information.
- DO make dental visits a fun adventure for your child.
- DO be prepared to let your child go into the treatment room alone.
- DO remember that your POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND EXAMPLE in all dental health matters will be the most important factor in how your child will respond to this experience.
Our office is committed to a policy of prevention. Through early visits and treatments, we can prevent dental decay and infections. Orthodontic problems can also be diagnosed and early intervention and treatment can be provided.
Your child, with your cooperation, can become an excellent dental patient with a healthy mouth and beautiful smile.