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At What Age Should I Bring my Child to the Dentist?

June 30, 2017

Your family dentist often determines the age at which your child should have their first visit to their dental office. Most dentists want to see your child at one year old so that they can establish a positive relationship with each other, and to check for any signs of decay or future orthodontic issues.

If your child experiences a dental emergency, such as a broken or dislodged tooth before the age of one, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Any signs of discoloration or decay should also be addressed at the time.

Why are Baby Teeth Important?

Your child’s primary teeth set the stage for their future dental health and patterns. If a baby tooth is lost, the remaining teeth can shift out of position. Decay in primary teeth cause pain and can lead to infection and tooth loss.

Before your child’s first visit, you should gently polish their teeth by applying a small, rice-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft, infant toothbrush. According to the ADA, you should start with the first tooth and by the time they are three years old you can increase the dab of toothpaste to the size of a pea.

What will my Child’s First Visit to The Dentist Involve?

While dentists vary in their approach, it is most common to have an introductory visit that is playful in nature and entirely without treatment. The dentist might count their teeth and lightly polish them with a good tasting paste.

Often at the end of the visit your child will get to pick out a toy. This becomes a tradition for your child, as they look forward to choosing a prize for cooperating with the dentist as much as possible.

An Early Positive Experience with the Dentist Lasts Forever

Your child’s smile will be with them forever. It is important that they feel comfortable at the dentist’s office and you, as the parent, have a right to participate in every aspect of your child’s dental health treatment plan. Be sure to find a family dentist that works with you. That way you know when it is time to bring you children, you will have established your own relationship and can have confidence knowing that your child is in good hands.

For more information, please call Park Slope Family Dentistry for a stress-free consultation.

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