As a new parent, there are many questions that can arise when dealing with your child’s health. One of the most common questions parents have is when should I bring my child to the dentist for the first time?
The answer is simple, at the first sight of a tooth. For most children, this occurs around 6 months of age.
Taking your child to the dentist is a critical step in protecting their future oral health. Here’s why:
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD),
“Proper care for baby teeth is imperative as they serve several critical functions, including:
- Fostering good nutrition by permitting proper chewing
- Aiding speech development
- Helping proper development of permanent teeth by saving space for them”
Early dental visits can help spot potential oral health issues before they arise like the onset of Early Childhood Decay (ECC), which is a major ongoing public health issue affecting children of pre-school age and younger, who are currently undergoing dental treatment for cavities.
Along with assessing the health of the developing teeth, you should consult with a dental professional during your child’s first year about issues like at-home dental care, nutrition and potentially harmful habits like thumb-sucking and pacifier use.
Meeting with a pediatric dentist can expose you to information vital to your child’s development, and help establish trust between your child and the dental care provider. Besides, building positive experiences during the early years can help alleviate future anxiety around dental visits!
Remember, regular checkups following the first visit are just as crucial to maintaining good oral health and prevention.
So, how can you find a pediatric dentist in your area?
- Visit the AAPD website
- Ask your child’s Primary Healthcare Provider
- Consult with your dental insurance company for a pediatric dentist in your area
If you have further questions regarding your child’s oral needs feel free to visit the AAPD website for frequently asked questions.
As always, keep smiling!