Parents might not worry about visiting the dentist in their child’s first year for quite a few reasons. For starters, so many other doctor’s visits fill the calendar. Beyond that, since baby teeth will fall out anyway, they don’t need too much care, right?
Actually, getting your child started with dental care early can go a long way toward setting them up for a healthy future. Plus, at Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry, Irene Zaki, DDS, and our team work hard to help your child feel comfortable, doing our best to prevent the fear of the dentist that affects so many kids.
So, when should you visit our office in Riverside, California, for the first pediatric dentistry appointment? And why does it matter? Let’s take a look.
When to schedule that first appointment
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should sit in the dentist’s chair within six months of getting their first tooth or by their first birthday.
Most kids have their first teeth — usually, the central incisors on the bottom, followed by the same teeth on top — grow in at around 6-8 months. If you’re the type of parent who likes to schedule things early, book that first appointment sometime around your baby’s first birthday. By then, they should have at least a few teeth for Dr. Zaki to look at.
Plus, that first appointment isn’t just about teeth. It also allows Dr. Zaki to check their gums and overall oral health.
Why you shouldn’t wait
With so many doctor’s visits in the first year of a child’s life, it might be tempting to skip the trip to the dentist for a while. Perhaps that’s part of the reason tooth decay affects nearly one out of every five kids before age 5, according to the AAPD.
Getting to the dentist early in life allows Dr. Zaki to spot potential problems and prevents your child from being part of that statistic. As someone who observes your child’s mouth development, she can help you decide if your child would benefit from sealants, orthodontic care, and more.
Beyond that, early dental care at a comfortable office like ours helps kids get used to dentist appointments, which can prevent the dental phobia that keeps so many American adults from the oral care they need.
To schedule your baby’s first dental appointment, call our office or request an appointment online today.