Your child has achieved many milestones as he or she progresses through the early stages of life. That includes introductions to new foods and drinks at meal and snack time. While some believe that it isn’t necessary to take their child to the dentist because they only have baby teeth, that isn’t the case. That leads many to wonder, “when should a child go to the dentist?” Lovett Dental Sharpstown can guide you through when the first pediatric dentist visit should occur.
When Should a Child Go to the Dentist for the First Time?
Sometimes, when a mother gives birth, they go home with a package of essentials, including a finger swab. These swabs look like washcloths that fit over your index finger. Some parents also receive these items from their child’s pediatrician during one of the first few visits. These swabs act as their child’s first toothbrush. The recommendation is that parents swab their baby’s mouth each time they nurse or drink from a bottle.
That means good oral hygiene practices begin as soon as babies are born. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that, as soon as a baby is between the ages of one and six months old, they should visit the dentist for the first time.
The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
The more a child has exposure to good dental habits at an early age, the more likely they are to keep it up. When trying to determine when a child should go to the dentist for the first time, please keep in mind the following:
- Early trips to the dentist prevent problems from occurring because dentists can address problems as they arise and teach parents and children how to prevent them.
- Early exposure to dental facilities prevents children from being too scared or uncomfortable to go because, as time passes, the routine is comfortable.
- Many family doctors can guide early dental interventions, but that is not a substitute for making and keeping appointments.
- If your child’s pediatrician notices issues with your child’s teeth, that is a clear indication that it is time to schedule a dental appointment.
What Happens During a Child’s First Dental Visit
Answering the question, “when should a child go to the dentist,” also involves understanding what happens during that visit. If your child is still in its infancy, then you don’t have to worry about them being nervous. Having this information ahead of time helps alleviate nervousness in older children and adults who aren’t sure what to expect during their child’s first dental visit.
During that initial visit, dentists might discuss:
- Developmental milestones
- Fluoride needs
- Good oral hygiene routines
- Healthy and well-balanced nutrition
- Thumb sucking and other oral habits
- Upcoming appointments and when to schedule them
What is a Pediatric Dentist?
You might think that it’s okay to use the dentist that you’ve been seeing for your child’s appointments. However, it’s best to make an appointment with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist has two more years of training compared to a traditional dentist. That additional training helps to focus on a child’s developing teeth, behaviors, physical development and growth, and any general dental needs they might have.
Talk to a Pediatric Dentist Today at Lovett Dental Sharpstown
If you have concerns about when a child should go to their first appointment, now is the time to talk to a pediatric dentist. Not only can a pediatric dentist help you understand the importance of this visit, but they’ll also recommend when it should occur. Contact Lovett Dental Sharpstowny today at 972.848.8947 to learn more about pediatric dentistry and the options that are available for your child.