Upwards of 80% of all babies between the ages of 1 and 2 don’t visit the dentist. Their parents have no idea that cute gummy mouths need dental attention.
So, at what age should a child go to the dentist? Read on to learn more:
First Dentist Visit Age: At What Age Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
Teeth start forming before birth: A gummy mouth is, therefore, no excuse for keeping the baby away from the dentist. However, baby teeth only become visible when a child is about six months old.
That said, babies should visit the dentist just after the first tooth appears or just before their first birthday. It’s alright to wait until they are 2 to 3 years old but never later. Here’s the catch, the sooner the visit, the lower the risk of plaque buildup and cavity.
Learn more on the dental procedures every parent should be ready for.
When Do Babies Need to Visit the Dentist Most?
The dental needs of babies change with age. That’s because food and food preferences change as babies get older. Between the ages of 3 and 5, kids have a soft spot for sugary things.
Understandably, they’ll need to visit the dentist at least twice a year. That’s because, at that age, they’re still unable to brush their teeth properly. Poor brushing and high sugar intake is a recipe for decay and plaque.
Primary Teeth Affect Permanent Teeth
Most parents don’t take care of their children’s baby teeth because they’re not permanent. That only sounds wise until you understand the teething process. Your child’s permanent teeth start developing under her primary teeth.
That’s to say baby teeth affect permanent teeth. Take good care of the baby teeth and the permanent teeth are safe.
Why Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists are preferred when it comes to children’s oral health because they have undergone additional training. If not handled properly, the first dental visit can cause the child to develop a fear of dentists.
A pediatric dentist is your best shot at mitigating that fear. Think of it like potty training, one mistake and your child shies away from the change. That said, read the secret to potty training.
A parent also gets to learn a lot from a child’s dental visit. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth and suggest the best cleaning techniques and products for the child. If there’s any abnormality, the quicker it’s identified, the easier it’ll be to fix it.
Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth
Your baby’s mouth needs cleaning long before the first tooth appears. Wipe the child’s gum with a baby toothbrush or a soft washcloth using water or dentist-approved cleansers. When the first tooth appears, brush it twice every day using a soft-bristled brush and a non-fluoride toothpaste.
The Last Bite
Children need a dental visit long before they develop a full set of baby teeth. When the baby teeth are all in, dental needs intensify. Permanent teeth start developing under baby teeth and can, therefore, inherit dental problems from their predecessors.
So, at what age should a child go to the dentist? The simple answer is, “the earliest time possible.”