The dental family of Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas in Irving, Texas understands the worry associated with being a new parent and then knowing when to take your baby to the dentist. Unfortunately, many American parents do not take their babies to the dentist until they are over 2 years of age, which is later than the recommended. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has recommended that a child visit the dentist by age one or within six months of their first visible tooth.
Kids keep their primary, milk teeth for as long as it takes and they help the child chew to maintain good nutrition, speech development, save space for permanent teeth, and promote a healthy smile. Even though the primary teeth fall out, they are integral to your overall oral health. The dental truth is that the first visit to the dentist is not for dental work, but to create that environment of trust between the child and dentist.
Think about it parents, if your child does not trust the dentist or feel comfortable, then it will be very hard for the dentist to get an accurate peek inside your child’s mouth. Building the foundation with your dentist is an integral part of continued dental health. After the staff and the child meet, the consecutive visits will become easier for all those involved. The first appointment will be a gateway to every six months visit.
When your child transitions from bottle to cup and your child does not snack in the middle of the night, you may be able to hold off your child’s first dental visit to age two. Even if your child has been to the dentist before age two, when your child is two it is recommended that they begin the bi-annual dental checkups.
By the age of three, your child should have a full dental exam, and by the age of five, a full set of dental X-rays is recommended. Between the ages of four and six is also when cavities start to appear, opening up the conversation of good dental hygiene. Between the ages of six and twelve, dental prevention is important because it is during this time milk teeth fall out and permanent teeth grow in.
For those kids between ages 7 and 9 with cavities, we suggest a sealant that is a plastic resin that bonds to teeth’s chewing surfaces. Parents, remember that cavity-prone molars are a likely site for treatment, so the resin keeps cavity-causing bacteria from getting into the grooves and valleys of your child’s teeth.
By the age of seven, we recommend that your child has a full orthodontic evaluation. All in all, the goal is to teach your baby to brush twice a day, floss daily, and get regular dental checkups – happy smiling.
If you are in the DFW area and have any concerns or questions about your child’s dental needs, or if you want to schedule an appointment, contact us today.