When Your Child Should See the Dentist for the First Time

When raising a child, it can be tough to make judgment calls for the timing of significant milestones. Not least among these decisions are those related to the child’s health. A baby starts life with many doctor’s visits as a given.

But when is it the right time to take your child in for their first dentist appointment?

Everyone including online resources, healthcare professions, friends, and family seems to have differing perspectives on when that first visit should happen.

However, according to The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should see a dentist within six months of getting their first tooth, or by their first birthday.


Benefits of Early Dentist Visits

  • Comfort Building - The earlier and more often your child visits the dentist’s office, the less scary it will seem to them. Many caring dentists will have prizes to help associate good feelings with the visit.

  • Preventative Care - Early detection of problems is critical especially for infants and toddlers. Some of the more standard procedures for adults, such as filling a cavity, become causes for general anesthesia if the patient is too young.

  • Stressing At-Home Care - As soon as the first tooth emerges, it is time to start brushing. Establishing this routine young will help create life-long habits that promote excellent hygiene.  

 

Age-Related Dental Milestones
Here are some general milestones to be aware of for when to take actions to ensure your child’s dental health. Note: these age ranges are general, it may be necessary to account for individual differences.

  • Before age one: First visit to the dentist’s office

  • Four to six: first X-rays

  • Six to 12: permanent teeth replace baby teeth

  • Seven to nine: sealant suggested for molars

  • Around age seven: orthodontic evaluation

At Southfield Family Dental Center, we want to help our patients of all ages understand how to keep their smiles in top condition for years to come. Contact us today to start planning for your child’s dental health.

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