When Should My Child Start Seeing a Dentist? – Tips on caring for your child’s teeth and a free printable tooth brushing chart to make brushing fun and part of their daily routine!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. The opinions are all mine.
“When should my child start seeing a dentist?” Just like you, I wondered the same thing after having our first son, Dane. Did you know that the 20 primary (baby) teeth that will erupt in the next two and a half years are already present in a baby’s jaw at birth? Pretty incredible, right? Believe it or not, baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth — for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. I took that recommendation seriously and started researching pediatric dentists in my area before Dane’s first birthday.
It wasn’t long before I came across First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. Their website was filled with valuable information on pediatric dental care and their facilities are pretty amazing. Before we get to talking about their offices, though, let’s chat about why they also encourage parents to schedule their children’s first appointment around the first birthday.
Avoid Early Tooth Decay
As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. While children end up losing their first set of teeth, the health of those teeth is crucial for general health and proper speech development. Furthermore, early tooth decay can significantly complicate the development of healthy adult teeth and causes other problems. Sometimes if a primary tooth is lost too early, nearby teeth can tip or shift into the vacant space causing the new tooth to emerge in an abnormal position.
Promote Good Dental Care Habits Early
Fostering a routine for children is the best way to set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and confidence. If they learn they need to brush and floss regularly and understand the importance of dental visits, it won’t be a struggle later in life when they start to take more responsibility for their own health.
To remind your kids of the importance of brushing every day, I created this FREE tooth brushing chart to print out and put in the bathroom. We framed ours and the kids use a dry erase marker to check off their tooth brushing sessions.
Eliminate Fear of the Dentist
Not every child has an easy time visiting the pediatric dentist, especially for the first time. But if trust can be built early on; the transition will be much easier. Talk about the visit in a positive, informative manner, as you would any new experience. Explain that the dentist is a friendly doctor who helps you take good care of your teeth.
When I took Dane in for his first visit, I remember it being a consult in a private room. The dentist gave Dane a quick check-up, and afterwards Dane played with some of the toys in the room while the dentist and I went through my list of questions. Nothing was rushed. I got all of my questions answered and learned a ton.
Today, my kids LOVE going to First Impressions. Their dental offices are filled with primary colors and incorporate large play areas, popular TV programs, permanent Xbox or Playstation videogame stations, and areas where families can sit together and read. The Wausau office, where we go, has a big indoor slide that the kids would play on for hours if they could. In fact, they always ask to go to the appointment early so they have enough time to play.
If you’re ready to schedule your child’s first dental appointment, First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry invites you to see why they’re one of the top pediatric dental offices in Wisconsin with pediatric offices in Wausau, Weston, Plover, Rhinelander, Medford, Shawano, Green Bay and Appleton. Call (844) 343-5437 with questions, or visit them at www.fidkids.com for more information or to request an appointment online.