Pediatric Dental Care: How Often Should You Take Your Child
New parenthood comes with a lot of excitement, but also a lot of confusion. You want to celebrate every new thing your baby does or experiences. At the same time, the changes come very fast as your baby grows into a toddler and then a child very quickly. You may find yourself scrambling to keep up!
You are likely already on a schedule for your child to see a pediatrician, but you may be realizing that you haven’t yet been to the dentist. But then you may be wondering, “Is it time?” Here’s what you need to know about when you should take your child to the Gilbert dentist and how frequently you should be making an appointment:
Most babies get their first tooth around 6 to 12 months of age. With just that one snaggletooth, you may not think it necessary to take your baby to the dentist, but you should. The recommendation is that you take your baby to their first dentist appointment within six months of that first tooth emerging. That might mean that your baby is just a year old, which may seem very young, but it is necessary.
That first visit won’t include x-rays, and it won’t be very in-depth. The primary goal of your child’s first dental visit is to get him or her comfortable being around the dentist and having someone looking in their mouths. Gilbert Dentists know how to handle babies and young children who are nervous or fidgety or even scared and crying. They will take steps to put your child at ease and make the experience enjoyable. The goal is to help your child get used to seeing the dentist to establish healthy habits right from the start.
Frequency of Visits
After that first visit, you’ll need to schedule your child’s next visit for six months later, and then schedule a visit every six months after that. Your child needs to see the dentist in Gilbert just as frequently as you do, though the treatments will vary.
Expect the treatments to intensify over time, with the emphasis first on establishing a dental record for your child and on making him or her comfortable in the environment. Over time, your child will get more teeth and will get more treatments such as sealants on the permanently erupting teeth.
Graduation of Treatments
Your child won’t start getting what you think of as a traditional dental exam until they are about 3. Then, you can expect your child to get a cleaning and to learn about brushing and flossing. Your dentist may begin fluoride treatments at this age, or they may recommend them earlier. Parents are usually included in the exams at first, with the dentist showing them how to floss their child’s teeth or how to ensure that their child brushes thoroughly.
Expect your child to start getting dental x-rays at the age of 5. Then expect them to get the x-rays every year, the same as you do when you visit the dentist on schedule.
Dental hygiene starts early, and as soon as your child has a tooth, you need to be practicing good brushing and start thinking about that first dental visit. In the beginning, the goal is just to teach your child about good dental hygiene and help them get used to their dentist and to the idea of getting a routine exam. Later, your child will get the typical exam, and by then, the idea of visiting the dentist will hopefully be enjoyable (and routine). The goal is to teach your child about good dental hygiene now and to establish habits that will benefit them far into adulthood.
Gilbert Vista Dental Care offers preventive and routine dental services for the whole family in Gilbert. Dr. Rita A. Peck and her team work to make all our patients comfortable, including the youngest children. We want to work together with your family to establish healthy dental habits, and that includes making dental visits comfortable and enjoyable. We offer dental exams and Gilbert dental x-rays, as well as restorative services like Gilbert dental fillings, dental implants, and Gilbert dental crowns. We also offer cosmetic dentistry in Gilbert, including orthodontics. Explore our website to learn more about our services, then call our office today to schedule an appointment.