When Do You Take Your Child to the Dentist for the First Time?

Taking Children to the Dentist

Your child’s first teeth begin to emerge when he or she is about six months old. By the time your child is 3 years old, he or she will have a full set of 20 primary, or baby, teeth. In a few years, the baby teeth will start to fall out, being replaced by permanent teeth. Most children have all but their wisdom teeth by the time they are 12 or 13 years old. Baby and permanent teeth are both very important, but since the baby teeth will just fall out anyway, when does a child need to go to the dentist for the first time?

Dental Visits Should Begin Early

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental visits should begin when the first tooth emerges — or at least by the first birthday. Primary teeth do more than most people realize. Baby teeth save space for permanent teeth. The primary teeth help children chew and learn to speak. When parents take children to the dentist when they are young, it promotes a healthy smile. The first visit to the dentist is more for the parents. You’ll get information on how to care for your child’s teeth as their permanent teeth begin to come in.

Reducing Anxiety

Getting your child to the dentist reduces the anxiety they may feel as they age. There are a lot of moving parts at the dentist. If you haven’t been to the dentist yet or in a while, it might cause anxiety. How can you reduce nervousness?

  • Take your child with you when you go to the dentist and let him or her observe your teeth cleaning. Make sure to check with the dentist’s office that this will be alright first.
  • Give your child a sneak peek at the dentist’s office they will be going to. 
  • Get books that talk about dental health and the dentist’s office.
  • Find a dental mirror and let your child use it to look at your teeth. Use your fingers to count your child’s teeth. Let him or her count yours. It will help your child be more familiar with how it feels to be the patient and dentist.
  • Make sure your child is well-rested before his or her dental appointment. Plan your day so that you aren’t rushed. You want your child to be relaxed and calm.

Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth

Make an appointment with a good family dentist, like a family dentist in Cary, NC, today to create a lasting relationship. Taking care of your child’s teeth when he or she is young leads to a lifetime of good dental health.
Thanks to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into taking your child to the dentist for the first time.