Parents can help their children enjoy a lifetime of stunning smiles by teaching them good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing. You should also start scheduling regular cleanings and exams for them at a young age. If you're wondering when it's time to take your child to the dentist, here's what you should know.
When Should Children Go to the Dentist for the First Time?
Children should go to the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting, and ideally by their first birthday. This will allow the dentist to confirm that his or her bite development is on track. If it’s not, there may be measures you can take to fix it or prevent it from getting worse.
Since teeth are vulnerable to cavities as soon as they erupt, the dentist will also check for any signs of decay. While young children don't consume candy or soda, baby bottle tooth decay can occur from residual bottle bacteria or a dirty pacifier. Even though the baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s important to address any cavities that do develop. If left untreated, the affected teeth can develop severe infections that spread to the underlying jawbone.
What Will Happen During Their First Dentist Appointment?
It’s perfectly natural to be nervous about your child’s first dental visit. Thankfully, the appointment will be relatively simple. The dentist will examine their jaw, tongue, gums, and whatever teeth have erupted.
If the dentist notices any bite issues or potential problems regarding the jaw’s development, he or she will discuss the available treatment options. Although every case is different, the provider will likely propose a watch-and-wait approach unless the issue is severe because the baby is still growing.
Should your child have any minor baby bottle tooth decay, the dentist may recommend applying a fluoride varnish to remineralize the teeth. Combined with changes at home, like putting only milk in your baby's bottle and cleaning it regularly, this should be enough to combat the issue. For more severe cases, a restorative approach like filling the cavity may be necessary.
When your baby is ready for their first dentist appointment, turn to Daniel M Hamrick DDS in China Grove, NC. A locally owned and operated practice, they’re equipped to perform a broad range of procedures on patients of all ages. From sealant application for kids to wisdom teeth removal for adolescents to implant insertion for seniors, they do it all. To schedule an appointment for you or someone in your family, call (704) 857-7497 or reach out on their website.