When to Start Taking Your Child to the Dentist

Pediatric dentistAs a first time parent, you tend to have a lot of questions you don’t know the answer to. You have to learn as you go and get information from other sources. One question a lot of first time parents ask is “When should I start taking my child to the dentist?” While there are a lot of different answers and opinions out there, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have a dental visit by their first birthday or even by the time their first tooth erupts. It’s a misconception that you should wait until all of your child’s teeth come in.

Building Trust with Your Child at the Dentist’s Office

When your child goes to the dentist for the first time, there is not necessarily any work done on their mouth. The visit is primarily about getting your child familiar with the dental office environment and comfortable with the staff that will be working with them during examinations. Your child’s dentist may allow them to explore the tools and materials that will be used during future appointments. All of this is to build trust with your child so that they are content and familiar with the process going forward and as they get older.

Pediatric Dental Exam Time

Once your child is done exploring and is comfortable, the dentist will perform a quick pediatric examination. The examination consists of not only checking your child’s teeth but checking their gums, jaw, and bite as well. This allows for the dentist to address any issues or possible concerns with oral health or speech patterns they could see arising in the future. The dentist will talk with you about proper oral hygiene for your child and let you ask any questions you have.

After the first visit, your child should continue going to the dentist every 6 months unless an issue arises. Be prepared for your dentist to add on a step at each visit until your child is fully comfortable. Depending on your child and how well they react to the experience, the dentist may have you sit with them throughout the appointment or allow them to sit alone depending on their level of independence.

Know that your child’s teeth play a very important role in their life. They help them bite, chew and speak clearly. Be sure to take care of them as you would your own teeth. Going to the dentist should be a positive experience for your child and encourage them to take care of their teeth.

Contact Hamby Family Dental Center for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Know your infant or small child is in good hands when you bring them for their appointment at Hamby Family Dental Center. Our skilled team is experienced with kids of all ages and are prepared to ensure that your child’s first experience with the dentist is a positive one. Make an appointment today by calling (919) 552-2431 or fill out our appointment request form.