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When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist

Author: Disabled World(i) : Contact: www.disabled-world.com

Published: 2010-08-07 : (Rev. 2020-02-23)

Synopsis and Key Points:

While you do not have to bring your child to the dentist until he or she is 1 year old, proper dental care begins at home.

Bringing your child to the dentist beginning at an early age will help make them comfortable to the surroundings and reduce anxiety associated with visiting the dentist.

The general rule is that six months after the first tooth erupts, you should take your child to a pediatric or family dentist.

Main Digest

As soon as teeth appear, they are susceptible to tooth decay. You should take your child to visit the dentist around their first birthday - the general rule is that six months after the first tooth erupts, you should take your child to a pediatric or family dentist.

By taking your child to the dentist at a young age, you can help prevent problems like tooth decay, and learn the best ways to clean your child's teeth and enforce good oral habits.

Bringing your child to the dentist beginning at an early age will help make them comfortable to the surroundings and reduce anxiety associated with visiting the dentist. This will help ensure stress-free visits in your child's later years.

Proper Oral Care Begins at Home

While you do not have to bring your child to the dentist until he or she is 1 year old, proper dental care begins at home.

Pediatric Dentists

You may decide to take your child to a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating children. These specialty dentists are trained in identifying and addressing a number of kid's oral health issues. Pediatric dentists focus on:

Cartoon illustration of two teeth with male and female faces.
Cartoon illustration of two teeth with male and female faces.

Your Child's First Visit

Before the appointment, ask your dentist what procedures to expect and consider how your child may react. Young children are often fussy and struggle to sit still. Tell your child what to expect, and try to instill excitement in them, so that it can be the most positive experience possible.

Many first visits are scheduled simply to introduce your child to the dentist. If your child is scared or uncomfortable, you may need to reschedule. As a parent, it is your job to help your child stay calm and cooperative. Brief, consecutive visits are designed to build your child's trust with the dental professional, which is important if treatment is required later on.

What Happens at the First Visit

If your child cooperates, the first visit can include:

Your dentist will answer any questions you or you child have, and should strive to provide a relaxed environment for your child.

Like adults, children visit a dentist for a routine checkup every six months.

Sometimes three-month checkups are scheduled at first to build the relationship between dentist and child.

(i)Source/Reference: Disabled World. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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