You’ve had a baby and you’re no doubt busy checking off milestones in the first few months of your child’s life. One that’s easy to overlook: Taking your baby to the dentist for a checkup.
If you’ve let this slip through the cracks, don’t worry. You and your baby are both just fine. You may need to get an appointment on the books soon, but you haven’t caused any big problems.
At Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas, we love to take care of the dental needs of babies and kids. Here’s a little information about when and how often they should visit the dentist to give you peace of mind.
When should you take your baby to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday. Most first dental visits are quick, painless, and fun.
As part of your child’ first dental checkup, your dentist counts your child’s teeth and examines their gums, tongue, and lips and also the inside of their mouth.
The visit gives your dentist a chance to ask about family dental history, explain how to manage habits such as thumb sucking, and tell you what to expect with teething. They also explain the connection between diet and oral health.
If you have any concerns about your child’s dental condition or you’ve noticed any issues, this is a good opportunity for you to ask questions.
We understand that not everyone likes going to the dentist, but it’s important you don’t share this feeling with your child. Use positive language (“the dentist helps you build strong, healthy teeth”) and plan something fun after the visit, like a trip to the playground or a special treat.
How often should your child visit the dentist?
Most experts recommend that you bring your child to the dentist every six months or so, but your dentist can make a specific recommendation based on your child’s individual needs.
By age 7, when a child’s molars erupt, they should see an orthodontist so their bite can be evaluated, along with the front-to-back and side-to-side relationships of their teeth. Seeing an orthodontist early gives them time to devise a treatment plan to address any problems.
Visiting the dentist starting at an early age can help children form good habits that last a lifetime. To help your child along that journey, reach out to Airport Dental to schedule a checkup. Call our office or use our online booking tool to set up an appointment.