When should I schedule my child’s first dental checkup?

Parents often wonder when they should first take their child to the dentist.  Your child’s first visit should be the moment the first tooth comes in. In some cases, getting started early may also involve bringing your child to one of your own dental visits. We refer to this as a happy visit and it is basically used to familiarize your baby with the sights, sounds, smells and faces at the dental office.

Your baby can sit on your lap while the Doctor use the mirror to do a visual examination.  If that goes well, the hygienist will gently polish your child’s teeth.  We will never go any further than your child is comfortable with.  Sometimes these need to be two separate appointments six months apart and that is just fine.

Prior to the first tooth, gently wipe your baby’s gums with gauze, a wet washcloth or wipes made for infant oral care. Once that first tooth emerges, it is time to introduce a toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. Flossing can be added to your child’s daily oral care as more teeth erupt.

An adult or a child with a full set of teeth typically need to see a dentist twice a year for checkups and regular cleanings. But that’s not the case for a child who is getting their first teeth. In these very early stages, visiting the dentist every four months is important. By seeing your child so often, we can make sure that everything is developing as it should. Frequent visits enable us to protect new and vulnerable teeth from decay.

Getting your child started early is an important part of developing habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.  This will help your child see that everyone needs dental care and that there’s nothing to be afraid of.  Having early, positive dental experiences with allow your child to enjoy dental visits instead of fearing them.

If you have questions about when our team should start seeing your baby, don’t hesitate to call the office. In addition to reserving an appointment, we can talk about how smiles develop, and offer advice related to oral care, good nutrition, and topics like thumb sucking or teeth grinding.  Call today. We are here to serve your whole family!