How often should my child visit the dentist?

How often should my child visit the dentist?

A pediatric dentist specializes in treating children of all ages. Since they are trained to work with patients that are anxious, fearful, or just generally upset, you have the confidence of knowing your child’s dental health care is being overseen by someone who understands and knows how to handle many different situations.

Your baby’s teeth begin forming in the womb. They will usually start erupting around four to six months of age. As teeth begin to come in, they can be gently wiped with a damp soft cloth daily.

Your child’s first dental visit should occur around twelve months of age (unless a need arises sooner). At this one year appointment, your child will receive a dental exam to observe any conditions that require immediate attention.

This is also the perfect opportunity to learn the best way to care for your child’s oral health during the upcoming years. Your pediatric dentist can demonstrate the best way to brush your child’s teeth. A small soft bristle toothbrush and an age appropriate toothpaste should be used, as fluoridated toothpaste is unsafe for your child to swallow.

Unless advised differently, your child should continue to visit the dentist every six months. This allows your child to become familiar with the dental office (the sights, sounds, and smells of a dental office can be frightening for a small child). Your child will become comfortable with the pediatric dentist also.

It is very important that you do not wait to take your child to the dentist until you suspect a problem. Baby teeth can develop decay – your child’s first teeth lay the groundwork for their permanent teeth so protecting them is critically important. And if your little one’s first experience at the dentist involves treatment for a cavity, subsequent dental visits could be very traumatic for everyone.

Additional tips to maintain your child’s oral health include:

A bottle at night or nap time should never contain anything but water. Sugar in juice, milk, and formula can linger on baby teeth for hours.

Discourage thumb sucking or pacifier use early on to help prevent a malocclusion that will require eventual correction.

Children learn best by example so allow your child to watch you brush and floss daily.

Dental appointments early in the day are best while your child is well rested.

Contact us at Richardson Dentistry today to schedule an appointment for your child!

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