Learning how to take care of their teeth at a young age is a great practice that will help children get into healthy dental habits to continue throughout their teenage and adult life.
Frequency of dental visits
It is recommended that children, just like adults, visit their dentist every six months. Fewer or more frequent visits may be recommended by the dentist based on the child’s dental care needs. A child’s first visit to their pediatric dentist should happen as soon as their first tooth comes in or no later than their first birthday.
Why a pediatric dentist
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. These dentists have additional specialty training in pediatrics following dental school. Pediatric dentists limit their practice to children, making the environment less intimidating for children. Pediatric dentists and dental hygienists teach at age-appropriate levels about tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, gum disease and healthy eating habits.
What to expect at the dental visit
At the child’s first dentist visit, the dentist will exam the child’s teeth and check for decay and other potential problems and check the child’s bite. The dentist will also inform the parent or guardian about oral health care basics for children and answer any questions or concerns they may have.
Suggested questions to ask a pediatric dentist
- My child sucks his thumb/lip. Will this affect his teeth?
- How much fluoride does my child need?
- What developmental milestones should I look out for?
- How soon should I schedule our next visit?
- What oral hygiene habits should I implement to prevent cavities?
- My child is diabetic. Will dental habits need to be altered?