When Is the Best Time To Bring Your Child to the Dentist?
Life can be terribly busy at times- especially when you have children. Everyone knows the long list of “to-do’s” in keeping up with your child’s health and well being. Chances are, you have maintained and kept the well-child visits with your family pediatrician. Those happen regularly and early on in infancy, so it is easy to anticipate and know when the appointments should be. However, there is sometimes a lingering confusion on when and how often a child should start going to the dentist.
Since this is coming from a dentist’s perspective, you could imagine that we would suggest in the direction of frequent visits and early on. While this may be true, it is important to know why early dental visits are essential.
The best age for a child to go to the dentist is as early as six months to two years old. Why?
- Experience: Getting a child used to going to the dentist early on can take away much of the fear and unknown of going to the dentist when they get older.
- Education: The dentist may identify overlooked areas of potential decay. If the baby uses a sippy cup at bed with milk or juice, this can lead to possible negative dental health.
- Prevention: Dentists can now stop cavities before they start with fluoride treatments and later on, painted on sealants to prevent decay in cavity prone crevices.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) advises parents to make biannual dental appointments for children, beginning approximately six months after the first tooth emerges. These two important yearly visits allow the pediatric dentist to monitor new developments in the child’s mouth, evaluate changes in the condition of teeth and gums, and continue to advise parents on good oral care strategies.