When Should You First Take Your Child to the Dentist?

Teething is painful. And not just for your child.

When a child begins teething it can be extremely painful for them, and difficult for you as a parent. When you see your child in pain, it can be hard not to wonder what is wrong, and the temptation then arises to take your child to the dentist to make sure everything is ok.

Generally speaking, children will begin growing their teeth within their first year. You should aim to take them to the dentist after their first birthday or, alternatively, 6 months after their first teeth come through. This visit will likely just be a check up to make sure everything’s running smoothly and there are no troublesome issues.

If, however, you see that your child’s teeth are developing in an unusual way, that is to say, if they are disarranged, particularly spaced, or growing too close together, you should address this issue as soon as possible. Should this be the case, book an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible to see what, if anything, needs to be done.

The first appointment with your dentist will probably involve an general examination of your child’s teeth. Your dentist will be checking for correct alignment, early signs of decay, and how well your child can bite. Your dentist could also check for some age-appropriate habits such as tongue thrusting and lip sucking. In most cases this is a very short appointment and no treatment will take place.

This is your perfect opportunity to get to know your family dentist a little. You can ask him or her any questions you may have, and introduce them to your child. Most children are nervous about going to the dentist, and so fostering a healthy, warm relationship between your child and your dentist will help you in the long run.

On your child’s first dental visit be sure to ask as many questions as you can. Ask about good oral hygiene habits, how to brush properly, which foods are good and bad, and get tips on preventing cavities and gum disease.

While you’re at the practice, be sure to book your next appointment. We’d recommend scheduling one for 6 months afterwards.