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At What Age Should Children Begin Going To The Dentist?

February 18, 2024
At What Age Should Children Begin Going To The Dentist?

Parenthood involves many firsts and many questions. One of these firsts, which can also bring up many questions, is your child's first dental visit. If you have an infant or a young child, you might be wondering when they should first visit the dentist. While they certainly don't need to see the dentist as early or as frequently as the pediatrician when they are young, you shouldn't overlook the importance of the first and future routine dental exams.

When Should Your Child Have Their First Dental Visit?

Your child's first dental visit can help them feel comfortable with the dentist and set the stage for future dental visits. Most dental professionals recommend that young children have their first dental visit by 12 months of age or within six months of the first tooth coming in.

What to Expect at Your Child's First Dental Visit

Your child's first dental visit will usually last 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on how old they are, the visit may include a complete exam of their teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues.

Your child may also have a gentle cleaning during this visit if the dentist deems it necessary. A cleaning usually includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains. The dentist may also show you and your child how to clean their teeth at home properly, and discuss the need for fluoride.

Since baby teeth will fall out, X-rays typically aren't taken during this visit or others when your child is young. However, their dentist may recommend X-rays to diagnose decay, if they suspect problems, depending on your child's age. Generally speaking, young children shouldn't have dental X-rays unless absolutely necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions about Children’s Dentistry

How Can I Protect My Child's Teeth at Home?

You can take many steps at home to help protect your child's teeth:

  • Before their first teeth come in, clean their gums with a clean, soft, damp cloth
  • Once teeth have erupted, brush with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a very minimal amount of toothpaste
  • Avoid giving your child any bottles of milk, juice, or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when put down to nap
  • Help your child brush their own teeth until they are about 7 or 8 years old
  • Have your child watch you brush so they can follow the same brushing pattern
  • Limit or avoid foods and treats that increase tooth decay

How Often Should My Child See a Dentist?

Young children should have a dental check-up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental issues. However, speak to your child's pediatric dentist, as the frequency of your child's visits should be based on their personal dental health and needs.

Pediatric Dentistry at Greer Dental Studio

If you are searching for a pediatric dentist, look no further than the dental professionals at Greer Dental Studio. We are highly experienced in providing compassionate and professional dental care to children of all ages. We look forward to partnering with you to give your child the healthiest smile possible. Whether it's their first dental exam or a subsequent one, we are here for you.

Contact us today at 864-259-2590 or request an appointment online.

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Greer Dental Studio
455 S. Buncombe Rd.
Greer, SC 29650
Tel: 864-259-2590 | Fax: 864-334-5439
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455 S. Buncombe Rd. Greer, SC 29650
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