When should your child’s visit the dentist for their first dental exam?
Both medical and dental professionals agree that your child should see a dentist at the age of one year, or within six months after the eruption of their first tooth. Your child’s primary teeth begin growing in at around the age of six months, on average, but this may vary from one child to another.
There are many reasons why it is important for your child’s overall health and their oral health and development for them to see a dentist sooner rather than waiting. A child’s primary teeth – commonly referred to as their ‘baby’ teeth – are very important in a child’s development. Some of the reasons that primary teeth are so important include:
- Ensuring that your child learns to chew properly while also ensuring that they maintain good nutrition;
- Primary teeth are involved in the development of speech;
- Primary teeth help to save space for permanent, or adult, teeth;
- Lastly, the promotion of a healthy smile helps with a child’s self-esteem, ensuring that they feel good about themselves and their appearance.
A visit to a kid friendly dentist is important to your child’s health – both for the child themselves and for you as a parent. The reason being that it is important that both you and your child are aware of the proper techniques for flossing and brushing to ensure life-long oral health and hygiene habits. Remember, a child’s teeth are different from an adult’s, and the first dental visit is an excellent opportunity for parents to learn the best ways to care for their children’s teeth.
What is some advice for calming the ‘dental nerves’?
While your child may be too young to experience dental nerves if you take them around the time that their first tooth comes in. It is normal for many parents choose to take their children for their dental visit when they are older (generally around age two). In case you do wait, it be possible your child will develop anxiety or nervousness when it comes to their first dental visit.
Here is some advice to get your child ready for their first dental visit:
- Have your child with you at your next check-up so that they can view you having your teeth cleaned and examined;
- There are many online resources to help you and your child learn more about dental health and visits, all of which are targeted towards children;
- Before you take your child in, play dentist and patient with your child, taking turns to examine each other’s teeth with a mirror or using your fingers to count each other’s teeth so that your child becomes familiar with what a dental exam will feel like;
- And lastly, timing is important, make certain that you plan your child’s dental visit with plenty of time and that your child is well-rested and relaxed before their visit to optimize their comfort.
For those looking for a dentist for the entire family, Dr. Nadeem Khan, DDS, at Great Smiles Family Dentistry can provide the friendly care and professional service that you need. Book your appointment now, either online on our website or call us.