Your child’s dental health is extremely important, affecting not only their overall health, but their general well-being and even their education. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than children with healthy teeth. Baby teeth are important for many reasons, helping babies and children chew and speak properly, and establishing a healthy path for the permanent teeth to follow. So, it’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s oral health.
When Do Babies Go to the Dentist?
Babies generally start teething when they are between 3 and 12 months old, and most will get their first tooth around six months old, though this can vary. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your baby to the dentist for their first check-up when their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday. After the first appointment, it is recommended to get check-ups every six months or so, though this can vary and will depend on the child’s teeth and dentist’s advice.
First Dental Health Appointments
Your baby’s first visit to the dentist will likely last between 30 and 45 minutes. Depending on the child’s age and tooth development, the dentist may conduct a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development during this first appointment. The visit may also include a gentle cleaning, if it is determined that one is needed. Generally speaking, x-rays are not usually required at such an early stage of development. Keep in mind, this appointment is also a great chance for you to get professional advice and information on things such as: baby bottle tooth decay, infant feeding practices, mouth cleaning, teething, and pacifier or finger-sucking habits – so be sure to come with questions prepared!
The Importance of Using a Baby Toothbrush
Patricia Braun, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ oral health section, recommends that you start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as a tooth erupts, even if they aren’t eating solid foods yet, as “milk sugars in formula and breast milk can start to break down enamel in teeth.” You can even start the cleaning practice before teeth appear by wiping your baby’s gums gently after feedings. Not only is it important to brush your baby’s teeth in order to prevent decay, but also to help establish a regular routine and healthy brushing habits from a young age. Your dentist can help recommend the best baby toothbrush and show you how to use it properly.
Answered: When Do Babies Go to the Dentist?
In summary, be sure to start thinking about your baby’s oral health early and keep a close eye out for their first tooth. Once their first tooth comes through, or no later than their first birthday, get them into an experienced, family-focused dentist for their first check-up. This appointment will prevent problems down the line and give you the chance to talk with a professional about any oral health questions you may have.
At Nicholson Family Dental, we offer dental care services for the whole family and take great care in making sure your child’s experience with us is a positive one. If you are in Albany, Oregon or the surrounding area, request an appointment online today or call 541-928-6650. We look forward to hearing from you!