At What Age Should My Child First See A Dentist?

As a parent, you probably know that oral hygiene is essential right from the start, but you might not know from what age. Learning more about dental care is best done by visiting a pediatric dentist (dentist for kids) early before problems arise. 

When Should the First Dental Appointment Happen?

Believe it or not, but according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry AAPD, children should have their first dental visit within six months of the first tooth erupting. While it may seem far too early, dentists for kids insist that starting a dental care routine as soon as baby teeth are present is best for your child.  

If you're not ready to take your child to the dentist right when they get their first teeth, the first visit should occur shortly after they have their first birthday.

It is common for parents to believe that toddlers don't need to visit a dentist for kids. Unfortunately, most children don't see a dentist until they are over two years old. But, you may be surprised to learn that tooth decay can start as early as two years old. Getting your child in for a dentist visit as early as possible gives them the best chance for healthy teeth and gums in the future.

How do we Prepare for My Child's First Appointment?

Your child must have a positive first dental visit long before you get to the appointment. The obvious first step is choosing a dentist that can care for toddlers in a child-friendly environment. Seek out a pediatric dentist whose entire practice is devoted to caring for teeth in infants, children, and teens.  

At this first visit, the goal is not only about the dentist getting a glance at those tiny teeth but more about getting your child comfortable with the dental office, the staff, dental tools, and the appointment.

There are several steps you can take as a parent to help the visit run smoothly: 

  • Build enthusiasm for the first visit by getting them excited about brushing, flossing, and creating good oral hygiene habits. ‍
  • Build excitement about visiting your dentist friends. 
  • Keep calm. Kids react to new situations based on the reaction of their parents.
  • Don't fret about your child being "uncooperative." We have experience. As long as you are ready to cooperate, we’ll be fine. 

What Will the First Appointment Be Like?

When you and your child walk through our pediatric dental doors, you are greeted with enthusiasm and a calm environment. Let your child explore the waiting room, so it's not foreign the next time you're there. 

We tailor each visit to your child's age and level of cooperation. We work with each family to get the most out of your child's visit. Dr. Ball will introduce herself and her tools and explain what is going to happen during the exam.  

If your child is nervous, they can choose to sit in your lap. A good dentist for kids won't push past your child's comfort level. It is the perfect time to get answers to any questions you may have about your child's oral health and development. You can learn what to expect as your child develops and get tips for cleaning your child's teeth properly.

If you're searching for a pediatric dentist in the Rockville, MD, area, you won't find a better option than Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry. We have the expertise in treatment options to provide the best care for your child and their smile.

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