What’s the Best Age for a First Dental Visit?
April 3, 2014
We are often asked when the first dental check-up should occur. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry the first visit may be earlier than you think. It’s important not to neglect the dental health of your child during the time when the focus seems to be on well-baby visits and immunization schedules. Children should be taken to the dentist for a check-up when the first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday. Not only is it important to make certain that everything is progressing as it should with growing teeth – and gums – but you will have an opportunity to spend time with the dentist, ask questions, and begin settling in to what we call your child’s “dental home”.
The Dental Home
The goals of establishing a dental home are to introduce your child to the dentist and have the child become comfortable receiving dental care. A dental home also provides a place other than the Emergency Room for parents to take their children for primary or emergency care.
The first visit should be short, fun and enjoyable. You can prepare children for the visit by staying positive and avoiding words that might cause fear, such as needle, shot, drill or pain. Introducing your child to their dental home is a lot like a “meet and greet” with the dentist. If you are excited about the first visit, your child will be too.
We believe that children who are comfortable at the dentist from an early age can become adults who have a more positive view of the dentist as well, which will lead to healthy smiles that last a lifetime.