When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit

When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Child at dentist

Schedule your child’s first dental visit within 6 months of their first tooth eruption.

Many parents may not know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child should have their first dental check up within 6 months of erupting his/her first tooth. While it might seem early, there are many reasons why you should be proactive in your child’s oral health care.

  • Why schedule your child’s dental visit so early? A pediatric dentist can teach you how to properly clean your child’s teeth, discuss diet and fluoride needs and recommend oral care products. A pediatric dentist can answer your questions about your baby’s teeth, just like a well-baby visit with your pediatrician. The dentist also checks for problems, such as tooth decay, which can start as early as your child’s first tooth erupts.
  • Tooth decay affects baby teeth too. Don’t be fooled, parents should be just as concerned about decay in baby teeth, as they should be with permanent teeth. Even though primary teeth (a.k.a baby teeth) will eventually fall out, decay in baby teeth could mean a higher risk of decay in the permanent teeth. And if tooth decay is severe, it can also harm your child’s overall health. Children are at higher risk for decay if their teeth are exposed to sugar often or for long periods of time.

  • The important of primary teeth. It is very important for primary teeth to remain in proper position until their lost naturally. Baby teeth help children chew properly and they are an important part of speech development. They are also useful in helping save space for permanent teeth.
  • Early dental visits alleviate nervous jitters. If you start visiting the dentist early, an infant doesn’t know to be nervous! Instead, it becomes a normal part of his/her routine which helps create familiarity and alleviates toddler jitters. Also, it’s helpful for your child to meet the dentist early before there are any problems. That way he/she will not associate visiting the dentist with an emergency type situation.

Our pediatric dental staff is committed to making your child feel comfortable at his or her first dental check-up. Parents are invited to come back with their child during the examination. We encourage lap visits for infants and toddlers, where the child sits in the lap of their caregiver during their exam. It’s OK if your child gets upset during their dental check-up! But it is our goal to get them to smile before he or she leaves 🙂

If you have any questions, or need to schedule your child’s first dental visit, give us a call at (910) 794-2266. You can choose to be seen in our Wilmington, NC or Leland, NC office. We look forward to seeing your child soon!