As a parent, you want to make sure you're doing everything you can for your child's health and development. An important aspect of this is establishing good oral care habits early on. But when is the right time to take your child to the kids dentist for their first checkup? Here's a closer look at the recommendations.
When to Schedule the First Visit
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should take your child to a pediatric dentist either when your child's first tooth appears or by your child's first birthday, whichever happens first. Whenever that first pearly white tooth peeks through the gums -- around six months old, on average -- it's a sign you should schedule their inaugural dental visit. Seeing the kids dentist around this age allows them to evaluate tooth development and growth. It also helps your child become comfortable in the dental environment very early on, setting the foundation for positive experiences.
Establishing a Dental Home
That first dental checkup is about more than just looking at teeth. The kids dentist will do a full oral exam, checking for any issues with gums, jaw alignment, breathing, and more. They will also be able to spot early tooth decay. This visit also lets you establish a dental home for your child. Having a trusted, consistent dentist they see regularly from a very young age helps reduce anxiety while promoting proper oral health through the years.
What to Expect at the First Checkup
Wondering what that first trip to the kids dentist will entail? Well, there likely won't be much teeth cleaning happening yet. However, the dentist will count and examine teeth for abnormalities. They'll also evaluate your child's risk level for tooth decay and other oral health issues. Another goal of this visit is to provide parent education on preventing cavities. After all, as a parent, you have an important role in protecting your child's smile. The kids dentist will demonstrate how to properly brush baby teeth and discuss nutrition guidelines. Most importantly, this first visit will help your child get comfortable with dental visits for good long-term oral health.
Bringing your child to their first dental checkup around age one establishes crucial habits. Regular trips to the kids dentist will keep those little teeth protected as your child grows. Call our dental office at Martin Kids Dental today to schedule your child's first visit.