The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that you should take your child to visit the dentist after the first tooth appears or by his or her first birthday, whichever comes first. This may seem very young, but it is so important to get children familiar and comfortable with the dentist at a young age to help prevent fear later on. It is also important because your pediatric or family dentist can go over proper oral health care routines with you, such as proper brushing techniques, when to begin toothpaste, what foods and beverages may cause tooth decay, and of course thumb/finger sucking and pacifiers. While this initial appointment may not seem like it, you are setting your child up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Three years old is usually the age where all the fun stuff at the dentist begins to happen! This is an age where children are old enough to start getting comfortable with the dentist’s chair and x-rays can be taken. When your child is between the age of 7 and 9 your dentist may recommend putting a protective tooth sealant on the teeth, especially on molars where cavities love to hide. Permanent teeth begin to come in around ages 6-12 so it may be around this age that your dentist refers you to an orthodontist for a consult as well. While braces typically aren’t put on until the teenage years (or right before), braces are an integral part of jaw health, so accessing what needs your child may have will help you in the process.
Early intervention and prevention are always key!
Generally, a checkup every six months is recommended, but your pediatric or family dentist can guide you and tell you exactly when you should come back next based on your child’s needs.
If you have not taken your child to the dentist yet, call the office of Dr. David Wilhite DDS today at 972.964.3774 to schedule the next available appointment!