When should you schedule your child’s first dental examination?
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 several reasons why it is important to your child’s overall health and development for them to see a dentist sooner rather than later. The four most important reasons that are cited by dental professionals for having your child seen when their primary teeth begin erupting are:
- To ensure that your child learns to chew properly and to maintain good nutrition;
- The primary teeth are involved in the development of speech;
- Primary teeth help save space for permanent, or adult, teeth;
- And lastly that promoting a healthy smile helps children feel good about themselves and their appearance.
A visit to a family dentist is important to your child’s health – both for the child and for you as a parent. The reasons 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 jitters’?
While your child may be too young to experience anxiety or nervousness if you take them around the time that their first tooth erupts, many parents choose to take their children in when they are older (the average is around two years of age). In case you do wait, then it is possible for your child to develop anxiety or nervousness when it comes to their first visit to the dentist.
Here are some helpful tips and advice to get your child ready for their first dental visit:
- Bring your child with you to your next check-up so that they can see you having your teeth cleaned and examined;
- There are plenty of online resources to help you and your child learn more about dental health and dental visits, all of which are geared 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.
If you are in search of a children’s dentist, then visit us at Great Smiles Family Dentistry. Dr. Khan and his friendly staff are here for you and your child to give you the best dental services available. You can call us or visit our website online to book your appointment.