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What Age Should Children First See the Dentist?

When you have a baby, it can be hard to know just when to take your child to see the dentist for the first time. After all, it takes months for the first tooth to come in. Should you take your baby when there’s a tooth, or perhaps when all the teeth are in? Should you go before one comes in? Is there a specific age or a specific number of teeth?

In general, the first time that you need to take your baby to the dentist is when they sprout their first tooth. That’s when you need to start taking care of your baby’s oral hygiene. The first tooth usually appears when a baby is about six months old. But no matter when it comes in, you need to make that dental appointment when you see it. However, if you see problems before then, such as bleeding or white spots in your child’s mouth, you need to call right away for an appointment.

Why Your Baby Needs to See the Dentist So Early

It may seem like the eruption of one tooth isn’t enough to see a dentist, but dentists recommend it at this time for a reason. Nearly 20% of kids under age five already have some tooth decay. When this starts to develop early, your dentist can treat the problem before it gets worse. The dentist can get your baby off to a good start to a healthy smile. Having a good baseline also allows the dentist to track changes to your baby’s mouth in case of any problems.

If you have had your baby’s pediatrician look inside their mouth, even if there is already a tooth there, this doesn’t substitute for seeing a dentist. A dentist has highly specialized knowledge and can better care for your child’s oral health than a pediatrician alone. A dentist can also give your child a fluoride treatment when they are about nine months of age. This can help to protect the teeth so they are less likely to develop tooth decay.

A Baby’s Oral Health

Young boy looking at the mirror with toothy smile sitting on the chair with dentist and assistant at the dental office

At a young age, your baby needs to have their oral health taken care of, and they are unable to do it themselves. There are several ways that you can care for your child’s dental health at home, and your dentist can give you those recommendations and show you how to do them. Being able to tend to your baby’s dental health keeps their teeth and gums healthier, and it sets them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene.

When you care for your baby’s teeth, the methods you use will change with your child’s age. This allows you to keep up with their dental health at every stage in their development until they’re able to care for their teeth themselves. This means that they will experience dental care every day and will be firmly in those habits as adults.

Getting into these healthy habits and having consistent dental care is always important to a person’s oral health. When kids know that it’s important, they will understand that they need to care for their teeth and gums for better overall health.

SOURCES USED:

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/childrens-health/when-should-a-child-see-a-dentist-for-first-time

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/kids-oral-care/when-to-take-a-child-to-a-dentist-for-the-first-time

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