Dentists Explain When To Have A Child’s First Dental Check Up

Most children sprout their first tooth around 6 months of age, which leaves parents of infants wondering when it’s time to go to the dentist. Most dentists recommend that parents don’t delay taking their child for their first check up; the earlier the better.

According to Dr. Teresa Li from TL Dental, “Your child’s first visit should occur at around their first birthday.” If a child is born with teeth or has some erupt before they turn 6 months old, they should be taken even earlier than one year. In this case, the first visit should be within 6 months of when the tooth appeared.

When children go in for their first check up, they may not even have many (if any) teeth to clean. It’s more about getting them used to the office so they aren’t scared when they do start to have teeth cleanings.

A good pediatric dentist will acclimate the child to the office by giving them a ride in the dental chair and letting them look at the dental equipment. They will also educate children on the importance of taking care of their teeth.

For some children, even simply visiting the office for the first time can be a scary experience. Parents can help children prepare by practicing opening their mouth and even accompanying a parent to their own dental cleaning. Parents can also explain to their children what to expect when they visit the dentist, as well as why it’s important.

Even if a child is late to break their first tooth, it’s still important to see a dentist. Dentists look for more than tooth decay when checking on patients and parents can take care of their baby’s mouth even before the teeth erupt.

Even if a baby doesn’t have teeth, the dentist will educate parents on pacifier use and/or thumb sucking. They will also give parents education on how to take care of their baby’s mouth.

Pediatric dentists also recommend parents bring their babies in if they suspect they have a tongue or lip tie. This can interfere with breastfeeding and therefore proper nutrition of the baby. In this case, the first visit could even be in the first couple weeks of the baby’s life.

There are many circumstances that may require a baby to be seen by a dentist before their first birthday. If no special circumstances arise, then dentists recommend scheduling that first visit by age 1.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.