When should my child first visit the dentist?
Ideally, we like to see a child for their first dental visit when they are around two years of age. At this age , he or she should have most of their baby teeth present. This first visit is more of a 'show and tell' type of exam. We just want the child to get used to the office setting etc.. Any questions the parents have can be answered at this time, along with showing how to brush the child's teeth. As the child gets older, more treatment, such as cleanings, xrays and such will be completed. If a child has a problem at a young age, then that will be taken care of promptly.
Regular visits to the dentist are important for a child. A dentist should check the following on your child;
- Growth and development of jaws, and permanent teeth, position of erupting teeth.
- Dental decay and cavities
- General oral health, abscesses, injury, abnormal growth and lesions.
- Prevention: proper brushing and flossing, nutrition, application of topical fluoride.
- Check oral habits, such as thumbsucking, grinding and clenching.
- Diagnostic measures such as xrays.
Is it normal for children to fear dentists?
No. Fear of the dentist or anything is a learned process, not anything the child is born with. Parents must be careful to keep their remarks about health care positive around the children. Never tease a child, or let an older sibling joke about dental care. If a child is positive to begin with, then they will have a positive outlook on dental care for the rest of their life.
We always explain to every child what we need to do in simple terms and a language that they can understand.
Time Frame of Developing and Erupting Teeth
Prior to birth
By the fifth month of pregnancy, the primary or baby teeth are already starting to develop and form. Soon after birth, the permanent tooth buds start to form. Thus a good balanced diet including plenty of vitamins and minerals is very important for the baby's health and mother's.
Birth to three years
Usually by the time a child is six to ten months of age, the first tooth has developed and starts to appear. By age three , most children have all twenty of their baby teeth.
Six to teenage years
At around six years of age the baby teeth start to fall out , as the new adult teeth begin erupting.