What Age Should Your Child See the Dentist? (And Why It Matters.)

Asheville Dental Clinic

Having a baby is an exciting time, but you’re also worried about taking the best care of your child when he or she arrives! Of the many tasks that come with caring for a baby, one of them is caring for your child’s mouth. This includes going to the dentist! At what age should your little one make his or her first appearance at the dentist office? We tell you when and why as well as provide some essential oral health care tips for your infant!

See That First Tooth?

When you see that first tooth coming through your child’s gums, it’s time to start thinking about scheduling their first dentist appointment! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child see a dentist around the time that the first tooth erupts. As many children get their first tooth around the age of six months, this first visit shouldn’t be any later than your child’s first birthday. If you see that first tooth, you should aim to make your child’s first dentist appointment within six months of its arrival!

Tooth Decay Does Happen in Infants

Why is it important to take your child to the dentist soon after this first tooth comes in? This first visit will not only help your child adjust to visiting the dentist, but also to prevent any oral health problems. Tooth decay can occur in infants and children! Tooth decay can happen as soon as your child’s teeth begin to arrive. It’s crucial to protect your child’s baby teeth and encourage healthy habits early in life.

Your child’s baby teeth matter more than you think they allow your child’s mouth to develop naturally as well as help with proper speaking and chewing. The baby teeth set up space for the adult teeth that will erupt in a few years. If tooth decay becomes an issue and extractions are needed, your child’s teeth may shift and this could cause the need for orthodontic treatment once the adult teeth do come in.

Prevent Dental Problems Early

How can you protect your infant’s mouth from tooth decay and other oral health problems? Here are some essential tips for keeping your child’s teeth healthy for life!

  • Start early. You can begin cleaning your infant’s mouth by wiping a clean, moist washcloth over the gums after eating. As soon as your child is old enough, teach them how to brush and floss!
  • Encourage regular care. You should be the one to manage your child’s oral health care practices until he or she can brush and floss on their own.
  • Begin brushing when you see teeth! When your child’s first teeth arrive, use a tiny amount (about the size of a pea or smaller) of toothpaste to gently brush their teeth twice a day.
  • Still supervise. You can and should supervise your child’s brushing as your child grows and takes charge of their oral health care routine. Ensure children never swallow toothpaste, and always teach gentle brushing and flossing at home.

Help your child’s teeth to grow and develop naturally with your local dentist in Asheville. This first visit will get your child used to the dentist, ensure all is healthy in your child’s mouth, and set your child up for future oral health success! Schedule an appointment with us to prevent tooth decay and gum disease in your infant!