We agree with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s recommendation to take your child to the dentist when the first tooth comes in, or by your child’s first birthday.
A first dental visit is like a well-baby check up. We offer tips on brushing, flossing and diet to build a solid oral health foundation for your child. For example, sugary or starchy snacks and drinks should be avoided, and if consumed, should be given at mealtimes. Day-long snacking and/or sipping can increase the risk for cavities.
We encourage parents to help your children brush and floss until they can tie their shoes on their own, around 7 or 8 years old. Before then, children do not have the hand skills to properly brush and floss.
It is a common misconception that baby teeth are not important because they fall out anyway! This is simply not true! Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. They help children speak clearly, chew their food, and they also hold the space and guide the permanent teeth eruption when it is time for them to come in the mouth. When children lose teeth early, it can affect their self-esteem, cause crowding and could cause permanent teeth to be blocked out of the mouth. The last permanent teeth come in around 11 or 12 years old, so it is very important to keep those baby teeth around!
Early visits to the dentist are beneficial for many reasons: your child becomes comfortable at the dentist, and we can offer preventive services and education to help prevent any dental issues before they start. When regular dental visits are paired with good oral hygiene and a well balanced diet, you will give the gift of a lifetime of healthy habits for your child!