At What Age Should a Child Start Going to the Dentist?

blonde toddler brushing teeth

You never want to rush your child to grow up, but it’s important to start taking them to the dentist early. At Sunshine Pediatric, we’re dedicated to helping your child achieve a solid foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.

When Should Your Child Start Visiting The Dentist?

You should be taking your child to the dentist by their first birthday. This may seem early to you, but it’s what’s recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. By the time your child reaches one or two, their first teeth should have erupted. It’s important to care for those baby teeth as soon as possible because they serve as the building blocks of your child’s oral hygiene.

What to Look for When Choosing a Dentist for Your Child

It’s important to find the right dentist for your child. The best way to find a pediatric dentist is by word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and family, even your own dentist if they can recommend anyone. Visiting their website and looking at their bios can also help you make your decision. You can also visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry online and click on “Find a Pediatric Dentist.”

What to Expect During the First Visit

The first visit is really about familiarizing your child with the dentist’s office, and getting them comfortable with the instruments, chair, and our dentists themselves. By letting your child get familiar with the staff and the office environment, your child is able to build trust. It also helps you feel comfortable. It can be scary when first taking your child into our dentist’s office where there are intimidating-looking tools, and it’s just as important for you to be comfortable as your child.

At the first visit, our dentist will also be able to take a quick look in your child’s mouth to check their gums, jaw, and bite. She’ll also look for any signs of decay or problems that could affect teeth or speech pattern. We won’t put your child in the chair for the exam just yet. You’ll hold them on your lap while our dentist takes a look at their mouth so they’ll be more comfortable. Our dentist will also be able to talk to you about good oral hygiene and answer any questions you may have.

After the first visit, we generally suggest that you come in to see us every six months unless any issues come up in the meantime. Be sure to call us today to make an appointment to get your child on track to establish good oral health practices.

We can’t wait to see your child’s smile!

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