When Should I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

January 16, 2018 — by Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky
Tags: Family Dentistry

A smiling baby girlAs any parent knows, babies grow up so quickly. Their first teeth are likely to emerge within the first year of life. For many babies, the first baby teeth (typically lower teeth) start to come in around 4 to 7 months of age. If teeth don’t show up by that time, don’t worry. A baby will likely being to develop his or her first teeth by the end of 1 year.

Now that your baby has teeth, you may be wondering when is the right time to bring your baby to the dentist. The team at our Edmonton, Alberta family dentistry center would like to cover some of the basics of infant dental care right now.

Cleaning Your Baby’s First Teeth

To keep your child’s emerging baby teeth clean, be sure to use just a little bit of toothpaste and an infant toothbrush to gently clean the emerging tooth or teeth. Don’t use more than just a hint of toothpaste until your child turn 3 years old.

See the Family Dentist by Age 1 or 2 at the Latest

Individual recommendations on when your baby should first go to the dentist can vary. That said, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that parent bring their baby to the dentist for the first time once the first tooth has emerged.

If you miss that early window for a pediatric dental visit, there’s no reason to fret. Parents can bring their child to the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. The latest they should wait for the first dental visit is age 2, but the sooner your infant visits the dentist, the better.

What Happens During the First Dental Visit?

A baby’s first visit to the dentist is less about cleaning and major procedures. Instead, a baby’s first dental visit will allow your child to get acclimated and acquainted with the dental office and staff. Unfamiliar places can make a baby anxious, so this initial visit will be used to establish trust and familiarity.

An initial dental examination will be performed to look at the emerging teeth and gums and to note any immediate issues with your baby’s dental health.

How Pediatric Dentists Can Help Parents

These first visits to the dentist can be invaluable to parents. Pediatric dentists can provide valuable insight with regard to oral hygiene, thumb sucking, the use of bottles and pacifiers, and other issues related to your child’s mouth. Parents can reach out to discuss various concerns they may have, getting answers or insights that make the parenting process a little easier.

Continued Dental Visits Through Childhood

After the initial dental visit, be sure to bring your baby to the dentist every six months. Regular cleanings and exams can help prevent tooth decay and address dental health issues sooner rather than later. This is one way to help your child have a healthy smile for many years to come.

Learn More About Family Dental Care

For more information about pediatric dental care and helping your child have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact an experienced family dentist. Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky and his team can help you get the information you need to enhance your child’s health and wellness starting at an early age.