When should your child visit the dentist?
Why should you bring your baby/child to the dentist?
Baby teeth usually begin to appear around 4-10 months. By the age of 3 years, all 20 baby teeth are usually present. We recommend bringing your baby/child for dental visits early on so that they are able to get comfortable and have fun with the dental environment and that healthy habits start from a young age.
Check-ups include taking a good look at your child’s teeth, gums, soft tissues and their bite. Detection of the beginning signs of tooth decay or other potential issues can be recognised early on, leading to preventative and easy treatments as opposed to more invasive procedures. Baby teeth are more susceptible and prone to problems as they are smaller overall and not as strong as the permanent adult teeth. Prevention is better than cure!
When and how often should you bring your baby/child for a dental visit?
The recommended time for a ‘first dental check’ is when teeth begin to come through or at 12 months old. First visits are always nice and easy! Information given covers teething issues, looking after baby teeth, habits such as thumb sucking, or helping you out with particular concerns.
From there it’s a good idea to come back at every 6-12 months so that they continue to explore and get comfortable with the team and dental setting. Modelling by a parent or older siblings is a great way to get young children familiar with regular visits and their positive behaviours may shape how the child reacts too.
Our helpful tips on encouraging your children for their dental visit:
Use positive emotions and words about and at the dental visit.
Avoid negative words or phrases such as ‘you shouldn’t be afraid’ or ‘there’s nothing to be scared of’. Often it’s the new environment that children will be apprehensive about, and wording things in that way may instill a sense of fear about being there.
Schedule your appointment during a time of day when your child will be least fussy or tired.
Treat the appointment as a routine activity.
Reading stories can help explain who the dentist is and why you’re visiting them.