When should kids start going to the dentist?
With all of the details parents have to juggle, dental appointments for kids with very few teeth may rank low on the list. The truth is, dental decay can start as early as age 1. Being proactive at an early age and learning how to care for your child’s teeth properly will help your child keep those baby teeth until he or she gets permanent teeth. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), ADA (American Dental Association), and AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommend that children get established with a dentist at age one. The same way pediatricians specialize in medicine for children, pediatric dentists specialize in dentistry for children. Most general dentists simply aren’t equipped to see infants and young children in the same way pediatric dental offices are. That’s why it’s important to find a pediatric dentist around age 1. The longer you wait to see a dentist, the more likely it is that your child could develop problems with their teeth. The best way to keep that first appointment straightforward is to make it early. We find that most parents don’t realize how long children actually keep their baby teeth. Your child won’t lose all of his or her baby teeth until between the ages of 10-12. Because kids keep their primary teeth for so long,it’s important to take great care of their teeth from an early age. Visiting a dentist early is also helpful for parents. During appointments parents learn how to best care for their children’s teeth and get several tips and tricks to help establish healthy habits for a lifetime. One of the primary goals in typical dental appointments for kids is for them to be fun experiences that help encourage good oral hygiene habits. Pediatric dentists, in particular, are a great option for kids who may have some anxiety around their first visit. These specialized practitioners have the training, tools, and perspective to give kids a great first experience. The earlier you take your kids to the dentist, the more normal and familiar it will become. Establish a consistent 6-month checkup schedule and make it a fun experience by practicing good habits at home throughout the year. Happy Brushing! Team @ Children’s Dentistry of Knoxville