What age should a child go to the dentist?
Parents of children, especially new parents, often times do not know about the proper rhythms of good healthcare, especially when it comes to dentists. This is unlike a pediatrician where it’s pretty obvious that your child should start getting check-ups as soon as you have a child to check up on.
Oftentimes people may even visit to check in on the health of their child even before they are born with prenatal care. However, teeth always seem to fall into a different category for many individuals. They feel that they are something they don’t need to worry about until far later. Some parents think that they don’t need to concern themselves with teeth until after the child actually has teeth to take a look at. While other parents push it back even further by thinking that since children’s teeth are temporary, they really don’t even need to think about a dentist for the first 10 years of life until the adult teeth start to come in. However, what is the truth of the matter? At what age should a child go to the dentist?
Before we can get at that, we need to take a look at what the experts in dental medicine have to say.
Oral health is a key component of overall health (Rowan-Legg, A., & Canadian Paediatric Society, Community Paediatrics Committee (2013). Your dentist can be one of the least expensive ways to ensure that your overall health is good.
Research suggests that all children and youth should have access to dental care (Rowan-Legg, A., & Canadian Paediatric Society, Community Paediatrics Committee (2013). Getting started while they are young is a powerful way to ensure that kids are set up for healthy success.
Pediatricians play a key role in identifying children who are at an increased risk for dental disease and recommend more comprehensive dental care for these children (Rowan-Legg, A., & Canadian Paediatric Society, Community Paediatrics Committee (2013). It’s all part of your child’s early care.
When should you take your child to the dentist?
When should children go to dentist? As you can see above, the literature and the experts are quite clear that good dental care is absolutely important, even for children. However, what are some of the reasons why you might need to take your child to a dental office?
Let’s start off with a very obvious one, perhaps your child simply has some tooth pain. If your child is experiencing any kind of pain, discomfort, or they seem to bite their tongue or their cheeks regularly, that could be a sign that there is some kind of inflammation or trouble with their oral health. While it is possible that these issues may resolve themselves on their own, it is also entirely possible that they may not and might need specialized treatment. Even if they do resolve on their own, they might have done significant harm or damage along the way. So one reason why it’s absolutely essential for your child to visit an orthodontic office early is to be able to spot any potential serious problems long before they become issues in the first place.
When to bring baby to dentist?
So when should you take your child to the dentist? Some parents believe that they don’t really need to take their child in until they’re about four or five years old. However, this is absolutely not the case. Children develop teeth before they are four or five years old, and so they need to visit their dental office before that age as well.
The best time to visit a dental office for the very first time is when your child actually has some teeth. When to bring baby to dentist often begins when teeth begin to erupt and the teething process occurs. Visiting a pediatric dental office can help make sure that this process is going exactly how it should, along with making sure that your child is as comfortable as possible since when teeth come in, it can be painful to little ones.
While they may not be able to express the pain as articulately as your children will later, as every parent knows, babies certainly have a way of letting you know if they are uncomfortable. Thus visiting a pediatric dental office can help give you some tips and ideas not only for infant dental care but also how you can help make your child more comfortable during this uncomfortable process of teething.
When should children go to dentist?
As we mentioned before, one reason to take children to the dentist is when their teeth are coming in. However, there is an equally important reasonwhen should you take your child to the dentistand that is if their teeth are not coming in or are doing so at a slower rate or in a bad way. Your dental office can help make sure this process goes well and while many parents might wait for the first teeth to arrive before taking their child to a pediatric dental office, if for whatever reason you notice a problem before that time, there is no harm in visiting the office sooner.
Your child might just be outside the bell curve and have their teeth coming in later than usual, or there might be a serious problem. Sometimes children have difficulty with even their baby teeth coming in and if you notice that it seems to be taking longer, is more painful than it should be, or teeth seem to be coming in at weird angles, that is an excellent reason for you to visit your dental office immediately. Anything that seems outside of the ordinary should absolutely have a professional opinion to double check and examine.
When to take your child to the dentist?
After the initial infant visits at your dentist’s recommendation if all is going well you should also make sure to take your child into the office as regularly as is necessary. Although most children will have regular visits, when to take your child to the dentist will be something your dentist will work out with you based on what he or she sees in your child’s teeth.
At what age should a child go to the dentist?
Ideally, and the experts of the American Dental Association will advise this also, your child should have their first dental office visit between 6 months and one year, once the teeth have started to erupt. Your dentist can then go over how to care for those new teeth and give you some techniques for brushing. Early on, you may not even use a toothbrush for the first few months of caring for teeth. There are even special toothpastes used for little ones, since there may be a risk involved with swallowing regular adult toothpastes.
This early visit will also give your dentist a chance to see what kind of arch your child will have, and how the adult teeth are likely to grow in.
Many parents don’t know when their children’s dental care should begin and this is unfortunate.For some people, reasons like, “my child hasn’t got enough teeth yet”, or “my child is too young to go see a dentist” are common.
To people who may not know the recommendations of the American Dental Association, this may seem reasonable. However, the ADA recommends that children initially visit the dentist within 6 months after the first baby tooth erupts and no later than by 1 year of age.
There are so many reasons for this, and it will serve you well to learn more detail about such reasons.
These reasons, very briefly, are mostly around preventative and treatment care. When a child visits a dentist for the first time, the dentist can examine the child’s mouth and can guide the parents on good dental habits that they can start introducing to the child. This is great to set the child up for success in the future regarding oral health.
When a child is able to visit a dentist at a very young age, the dentist is in a good position to help the child avoid developing a fear of dentists that is so prevalent even today among many adults. The first impression made by a dentist can be a lasting one and if a child visits a pediatric dentist who is specially trained in making children feel comfortable, parents can be more confident that future dental visits will be more readily welcomed than is often seen today.
Rowan-Legg, A., & Canadian Paediatric Society, Community Paediatrics Committee (2013). Oral health care for children – a call for action. Paediatrics & child health, 18(1), 37–50. https://doi.org/10.1093/pch/18.1.37