A lot of parents might not be aware of when to start bringing their kids to see the dentist. It may be sooner than you think!
Many parents do not bring their children to see their family dentist until they are well over 2 years old, far later than is recommended by both dental and medical professionals. Taking your child to the dentist is an incredibly important step in his or her oral health development. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that you take your child to the dentist within six months after his or her first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.
Here are some guidelines for you to follow:
- The first visit should be no more than 6 months after the first baby teeth arrive (or by their first birthday), at which time the pediatric dentist will inspect the incoming teeth and ensure there are no signs of problems.
- Subsequent visits – every 6 months – during the following years will focus on inspecting teeth, ensuring proper hygiene regimens – while the teeth at this age are temporary, their health is important as the temporary teeth aid the child in speech, chewing, and establishing proper spacing for the permanent teeth later in life.
- As the child approaches ages 3-6, children should be brushing their teeth with a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste. Regular visits will ensure that teeth are aligned properly, that the child’s bite is correct, and attempt to keep teeth in great shape as the child ages and the mouth prepares for the permanent teeth.
- In the 6-12 year range, the child will lose most of their primary teeth, and many of their permanent teeth will begin to arrive. During this time regular dental visits are critical to inspect alignment, treat any cavities, and potentially work with orthodontists to create treatment plans if necessary to correct bite or alignment issues.
If you haven’t taken your child for a dental checkup, make an appointment as soon as possible. Then follow the dentist’s guidelines for follow-up visits based on your child’s needs.
For more information on your childs oral health call Cline Dental today at 417-885-7040 or visit https://www.clinedental.org.