When Should You Make Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment?
Pediatric dentistry is essential for maintaining healthy smiles in children and establishing healthy habits into adulthood. But when should you make your child’s first dental appointment? Dentists David Wyse and Jay Chrisman in Bloomington, IL, and Champaign, IL, provide insight into this question and more during consultations at Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
If you are wondering if it’s time for your child to begin seeing the dentist and want to start your child on the path to a lifelong healthy smile, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
Dental Appointments Should Start Early
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children have their first dental visit after their first tooth comes in and before their first birthday.
Dental visits at this time are mostly for teaching parents how to care for their children’s teeth and to help children get used to going to the dentist. However, the teeth will be checked for signs of decay and the mouth will be checked for proper development.
Dental Appointments Should Occur Regularly by Age 4
The amount of dental visits recommended for a child before they are 4 years old may vary depending on each child’s unique needs. With this in mind, it’s typically recommended that around the age of 4 children see the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and to check for any signs of decay or other oral health issues.
Starting regular dental exams during early childhood helps children feel comfortable going to the dentist while also detecting and preventing dental problems.
What if You Missed Taking Your Child to the Dentist?
If you have missed taking your child to the dentist before their first birthday or even their fifth, it’s not too late to get them on the right dental care path.
Seeing a dentist as soon as possible is important for establishing good oral hygiene habits and keeping the teeth and gums healthy throughout childhood and adulthood.
What to Expect During Your Child’s First Dental Visit
What to expect during your child’s first dental visit will vary depending on how old your child is at the time and how comfortable they are with going to the dentist.
Very young children or children who are scared or anxious, may need to sit in their parent’s lap during their exam.
Once comfortable, their teeth will be checked for cavities, the teeth and jaws will be checked for proper development, and the gums will be evaluated for gum disease. The teeth will also be professionally cleaned and parents and children will be educated on how to properly care for the teeth and gums at home.
Types of Treatments for Children
Dental treatments for children focus on preventing oral health problems and treating any issues that may arise before they become serious problems. Some common treatments for children include:
- Topical fluoride: Topical fluoride can be applied to the teeth to help strengthen the enamel and prevent decay.
- Dental sealants: Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to prevent tooth decay.
- Dental fillings: Dental fillings treat cavities by replacing damaged dental tissue and protecting decayed areas from further damage.
Contact Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
At Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer dental services for the whole family. To schedule a consultation for your child or yourself, call our Bloomington office at (309) 663-6393.