Here at Centennial Smiles Dental, we often stress the importance of making sure that your child undergoes regular dental checkups to catch any issues and problems early. However, bringing your newborn in when they don’t yet have any teeth might be overdoing it. At what age should you first take your child to see a dentist?
Some parents believe it’s best to wait until all of your child’s baby teeth have taken hold before coming in to the dentist, or even to hold off until a problem arises. This isn’t the best approach to take. Most experts recommend that you take your child in for a visit around when they get their very first tooth, and no later than 2 years old. Past this, regular checkups at around 6 month intervals are recommended unless something else comes up that needs to be monitored more frequently.
Benefits of an Early Visit
This very first visit is unlikely to take very long or even result in any real dental work, perhaps at most involving a quick checkup to monitor for any early signs of gum disease or cavities. However, allowing your child an opportunity to become accustomed to the environment of the dentist’s office and showing them that dental checkups are part of a healthy routine. Moreover, the dentist will have a chance to get to know you and your child so we can start keeping track of their progress and growth over time. We’ll be able to teach you and your child about good oral hygiene habits to keep any problems from arising down the road.
Fear of the Dentist
We dentists try our best to be approachable, friendly, and supportive of all our patients, but oftentimes our efforts don’t translate well in a small child’s perspective. To them, the dentist’s office can appear intimidating and foreboding, especially if the visit is preceded by a struggle to get them loaded into the car. We understand this fear very well and strive to ensure that our office is child-friendly. Parents are more than welcome to come in with their children and stay with them for initial visits. To help establish trust and independence later on, we suggest that you let your child proceed with their check up on their own, depending on their individual comfort level. We are always open to hearing any concerns you may have and addressing all of your questions.