In a study of 133 children between the ages of 1 month and 14 years, researchers found that most children visit the dentist for the first time at age 7. Additionally, 47% of these children needed treatment.
Taking your child to a kids’ dentist in Georgetown before they turn 7 can prevent dental issues like cavities and tooth pain. So what is the best age to start worrying about your child’s dental health?
US dental associations and expert organizations recommend visiting the dentist much earlier. Specifically, experts recommend parents bring their children to the dentist at 6 to 12 months of age.
If you want to learn more about why experts recommend this age, you need to read this post. We will also explain what to expect from your child’s first dental appointment in Georgetown.
By What Age Do Kids Need to Go to the Dentist?
Experts suggest that kids visit the dentist on or before their first birthday. Ideally, you want to bring your baby to the dentist when their first teeth emerge at around 6 months of age.
If you are like many parents, you may believe that baby tooth health doesn’t matter. After all, those teeth will fall out in a few years anyway. The truth is that proper baby teeth development is critical for future oral health.
After your child’s first visit, you don’t need to return to the dentist for another few years. Experts recommend follow-ups at ages 4 and 7 unless your child experiences a dental emergency that brings you in sooner.
How Often Do Kids Need to Visit a Dentist?
Experts recommend bringing your child to a local dentist every six months. Some pediatric dentists may suggest even more frequent appointments depending on your child’s dental health status.
The Benefits of Early Dental Visits
By now, you may be wondering: why is it important to bring my child to the dentist so early in life? Here are three reasons why the American Dental Association and other organizations suggest these age guidelines.
Your Child Will Learn Oral Health Habits Early
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for keeping dental costs low and preventing health complications. Unfortunately, too many children pick up bad habits that stay with them for life.
That’s why forming good oral health habits starts in childhood. Your child will learn not to fear the dentist and the importance of regular visits. Plus, they can start practicing the dental hygiene skills they’ll need as adults.
You Will Learn How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth and Gums
Speaking of dental hygiene, many parents don’t know where to begin when teaching their children proper oral health care. You may have picked up bad habits yourself, or maybe no one ever taught you how to care for your teeth.
One of the main goals of early dental appointments is to teach you how to care for your infant’s teeth. As your child gets older and more independent, your dentist will also teach these skills to your child.
Your Dentist Can Ensure Proper Oral Development
Your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw are still developing. Their jaw will continue growing until age 16 (in females) or 21 (in males). Meanwhile, their teeth and gums will continue to develop into their mid-twenties.
Early dental visits allow your child’s dentist to evaluate these developmental stages. The dentist will ensure that the teeth, gums, and jaw are developing properly. If not, they can make corrections to get things back on track.
What to Expect from Baby’s First Dental Appointment
It is not uncommon for parents to feel nervous about their child’s first visit to the dentist. To ease your mind, here’s what to expect from the appointment.
What Is the Goal of the First Dental Appointment?
The goal of your baby’s first dental appointment is to make him or her feel comfortable. Dental clinics are home to many scary sounds, invasive instruments, and unfamiliar faces.
Getting your child used to these stimuli can be invaluable as they get older. You won’t have to fight your child when their regularly scheduled appointment rolls around. They will feel confident because of their positive early experiences.
What Else Happens During a Child’s First Dental Visit?
In addition to learning to feel more comfortable in a dentist’s chair, your child will learn oral hygiene skills. The dentist or hygienist can teach you and your young one how to brush, floss, and use mouthwash.
Most pediatric dentists do not recommend getting X-rays at this point. After all, their baby teeth will fall out eventually. The only time an X-ray may be required is if they have tooth decay or other oral health issues.
How Long Does the First Dental Appointment Take?
Your child’s first dental appointment should only take 30 to 45 minutes. The earlier you bring your baby in, the shorter the appointment should be. Your child should only need an oral exam and, if needed, a quick cleaning.
Waiting longer to bring your child to the dentist can result in lengthier appointments. Your child may need a may thorough cleaning or even dental fillings.
Why a Pediatric Dentist Is Better for Early Visits
You can technically take your child to any type of dentist for their first visit. However, most experts recommend seeing a pediatric dentist instead.
Pediatric dentists undergo additional training and specialization. Plus, these offices are kid-friendly in design.
Another reason to consider a dentist for children over a regular one is technique. Pediatric dentist lip tie and tongue tie techniques can make your child feel more comfortable while receiving care.
If you are searching for a ‘pediatric dentist tongue tie near me,’ Pediatric Dentistry of Hamburg can help. Our Georgetown dentist also serves locations in Lexington and Frankfort.
Visit a Kids’ Dentist in Georgetown
Experts recommend that children start visiting the dentist at 6 to 12 months. Bringing your child to a kids’ dentist in Georgetown can help them feel more comfortable as they get older and learn lifelong oral hygiene habits.
Are you looking for a Frankfort, Georgetown, or Lexington pediatric dentist? The doctors at Pediatric Dentistry of Hamburg specialize in kids’ dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!