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When should I bring my child to the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association recommend a child’s first dental visit take place at the eruption of the first tooth or by the child’s first birthday.


The first visit can help find problems EARLY and help kids get used to visiting the dentist so they'll have less fear about going as they get older.

Dental Care is Crucial During the First Year of Life

Proper care for baby teeth is imperative as they serve several critical functions, including:

  • Fostering good nutrition by permitting proper chewing

  • Aiding speech development

  • Helping proper development of permanent teeth by saving space for them

Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay from their very first appearance, on average between the ages of six and 12 months.

The associative pain of tooth decay can prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting overall health and development. Additionally, undetected and untreated tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth and expensive and mostly preventable emergency and restorative interventions.

A scientific paper in the journal Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who wait to have their first dental visit until age two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits.

At TBDC, we spend a lot of time demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques so that parents/caregivers can maintain good oral hygiene at home. Consistency is very important!

𝙏𝘽𝘿𝘾 𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝙩𝙞𝙥𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨:

1. 𝗘𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗮 𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆. Schedule a dental visit for your child as early as a tooth erupts or by your child’s first birthday. The earlier you start, the earlier they learn.

2. 𝗕𝗿𝘂𝘀𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺, 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺.

When your child does start growing teeth, they will not have the motor skills to use a toothbrush so you will have to brush their teeth for them.

When the child is able to hold a toothbrush on their own, guide the toothbrush around their mouth with your own hand to get them used to the proper technique. Brushing with them in this way makes it a learning activity that you can do together.

When the child is able to brush their own teeth effectively, brush your own teeth beside them to make it something that you can do together twice a day. 𝘗𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥’𝘴 𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰.

3. 𝗙𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁… 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘆!

When your child has more than one tooth, it’s important to start flossing them. Those INTERDENTAL areas cannot be reached by toothbrush bristles! Clean them well to prevent KISSING CAVITIES.

4. 𝗡𝗼 𝗻𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴!

Napping or sleeping with juice or milk can cause childhood decay due to the sugar from the liquids staying in direct contact with the teeth for prolonged periods.

5. 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗯𝗮𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘁𝘀.

Thumb-sucking and pacifiers can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems.

6. 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘀.

Avoid giving your child treats that are sour (high in acidity, which erodes tooth enamel), sticky or chewy (leaves sugars directly on the teeth for prolonged periods).

It’s never too early to establish good dental hygiene habits, which can contribute to a long and healthy life for both you and your children.

*patient's photo posted with parent's consent


American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

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