Q: When should you schedule your child’s first dentist appointment?
A: Before they open their first birthday present.
Baby teeth are important. They help children chew and speak properly and hold space for permanent teeth.
Leading dentistry and oral health organizations recommend children see a dentist within 6 months of getting their first tooth and no later than age 1. Here are 3 main reasons why:
Tooth decay can happen after the child’s first baby tooth comes in, but it’s 100% preventable.
Your dentist will be able to detect early signs of tooth decay and discuss tips to keep new teeth healthy, like brushing and flossing techniques, teething tips and good nutrition.
In fact, it’s a good idea to start even before the first tooth comes in by cleaning your baby’s gums after feedings with a damp washcloth.
Scheduling an appointment while they’re young allows the child and parent to get to know the dentist and helps the child become comfortable at the dentist’s office. And that may come in handy for more than just a potential cavity.
There’s a higher risk for tooth and mouth injuries when a child becomes mobile between 6 and 12 months old. Learning to walk can have some unexpected and unpleasant lessons with falls. With a dentist relationship already established, parents will have an emergency contact ready.
A lifetime of healthy teeth should start at the earliest age. Make an appointment to visit the dentist before that first birthday party.