When Should My Child Start Seeing the Dentist?

You probably already have a fairly good idea of when your next dental appointment should be, but when was the last time you took your child to the dentist? Proper dental care starts from a young age, and this includes visiting the dentist regularly. That’s because only a qualified dentist has the education, training, and tools needed to be able to check your child’s teeth thoroughly, spot any signs of developing dental problems, and provide the treatment that’s needed to retain healthy teeth and preserve long-term oral health.


So, just how often should you take your child to the dentist, and what can you expect from pediatric dental care? Let’s find out.


When Should my Child Start Seeing a Dentist?


The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that a child’s first pediatric dental appointment takes place before their first birthday. If possible, you should take them around the time that their first tooth erupts, but exactly when this happens could vary considerably. Most parents notice that their baby starts exhibiting signs of teething between 4 and 6 months old, but teeth can erupt at any time. It’s uncommon, but not unheard of, for babies to be born with teeth, while others may not get their first tooth until they are over 1 year of age.


Following this, children will usually be asked to attend appointments approximately every 6 months so that the development of their teeth and jaw can be monitored closely. It’s important that you adhere to the schedule of appointments set out by your pediatric dentist.


What Can I Expect from My Child’s Dental Visit?


Initially, your dentist will only take a cursory look inside your child’s mouth, as opposed to the more in-depth exam we get as we age. However, it’s a good idea to get them used to sitting in the dentist’s chair as soon as you can, as this will help them view dental visits as routine and nothing to worry about.


Other elements of pediatric dental visits will include:


  • Creating a comprehensive dental record for your child, which can be referred to in the future should any work be required

  • Your dentist will help you to create tooth-friendly habits for your child, such as modeling brushing and flossing your teeth, limiting sugary snacks, and drinking water with meals

  • Your pediatric dentist will also be able to give you specific advice relating to childhood habits that can be bad news for teeth, like thumb sucking and prolonged pacifier use – and how to break them

  • More than half of children will need orthodontic treatment at some point in the future. This is a treatment that looks at altering the position of the teeth and/or jaw to bring them into better alignment and prevent dental problems such as uneven wear on the teeth or temporomandibular joint disorder. Your pediatric dentist will be able to refer your child to an appropriate orthodontist if and when required

  • Your child’s dentist will also look after all aspects of your child’s teeth and oral health, including treating any cavities, gum disease, broken teeth, and more. They will also provide preventative care that will help your child’s oral health remain in tip-top condition




If you would like more information about pediatric dental care, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our friendly dentistry team at Fei Hwang, D.D.S. Milpitas Family and Cosmetic Dentist in Milpitas, California by calling (408) 729-7882 today.

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