Many parents are unsure of when they should take their child to the dentist for the first time. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should see a dentist for the first time by age one, but the majority of children in the U.S. do not have their first dental appointment until long after age two. This has consequences – as children get older, their risk for tooth decay increases. The first dental visit will look different for every child – but starting regular dental appointments young can help children learn to put a value on oral care and establish healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Parents should bring their child to see a dentist after their first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday.
Parents should also follow this helpful checklist to maintain their child’s oral hygiene and prevent tooth decay.
- Bring your child to a pediatric dentist no later than his/her first birthday or when the first tooth appears. Contact us here to schedule your child’s first dental appointment!
- Parents should switch to fluoride tooth paste when their child is able to spit out the toothpaste on their own. Be sure to use a pea size amount!
- Don’t let your child go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup that has anything other than water in it.
- As soon as your child’s baby teeth appear, they should be seen by a pediatric dentist every six month for regular dental check-ups and cleaning.
- Parents should continue to be the ones brushing their child’s teeth until the child is coordinated enough to tie their own shoes – around ages 6 or 7. (Even then, parents should remain involved to ensure that he or she is brushing properly.)
Following this checklist, along with regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will ensure that your child has the best oral health for years to come. Learn more about your child’s first dental appointment here and schedule an appointment with Children’s Happy Teeth here. Your family’s happiness is our mission!