Many parents often wonder at what age should they first take their child to the dentist. Many are very surprised that pediatricians suggest that the first visit should be by the first birthday!! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit should be scheduled between the eruption of the first tooth, and the first birthday.
Since national studies are showing that cavities are increasing in preschool children, it is important, now more than ever to start early preventive methods to avoid cavities. The developing teeth of infants are affected by pacifiers, teething, bottles, feeding methods, thumb sucking, gum cleansing, and also flouride levels in the mouth. That first visit is important not only for the child but as an education session for parents to be more effective in promoting good dental health for their child.
During the first dental visit, the child's teeth, jaw and gums are examined. Parents are shown proper positioning for child to do a thorough cleaning, and cleansing procedures are demonstrated. The dentist would look for any potential problems and the overall oral growth and development of the child will be checked and assessed. Also, the child's medical history will be reviewed and any preventative measures necessary will be discussed with parents.
It is a good idea to have dental visits scheduled before problems develop. That way, they can be kept short and that will help with the child becoming more relaxed in the dental environment.