When your Child Should have their First Dental Appointment?
Written by Dr. DeAngelis
When your child develops their first set of teeth, often the lower two teeth around the ages of six months to one year, it can be exciting for a parent to witness. This is just the start of a child’s dental journey. However, many parents in the Carlsbad, CA area are unsure when to start paying closer attention to their child’s dental development and when they need to see a dentist for the first time. Dr. Anakarina DeAngelis of DeAngelis Family Dentistry is committed to helping parents know the right time to see the dentist for their child’s first appointment and can assist in guiding both parent and child through the journey to better oral health and wellness!
When should your Child’s First Dentist Appointment be?
Many parents will connect with DeAngelis Family Dentistry and ask when their child needs to see the dentist for the first time. The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends that children see a dentist for the first time before the age of one, or as soon as the first teeth erupt. This helps the dentist build a trusting relationship with the child early on while educating parents on what they can do to keep the baby’s teeth healthy until the permanent teeth come through. Building a foundation of good oral health and wellness will be critical to ensuring a lifetime of beautiful and healthy smiles for your child!
Why are the Primary Teeth Important?
It is not uncommon for Dr. Anakarina DeAngelis to hear parents feel disconnected with the primary teeth, knowing that these teeth will be lost at a later age. However, these baby teeth are still critical to a child’s oral health. They save space for the permanent teeth to grow in and provide children a way to bite and chew for proper digestion and to ensure good nutrition. Additionally, the teeth are needed for proper speech development. By taking good care of the primary teeth, parents are setting up the child for a healthy smile in the future.
What to Expect at your Baby’s First Dentist Appointment
Many parents are curious as to what happens at their baby’s first dentist appointment. They will find that these appointments are typically quick yet informative. These appointments are more for the parent, allowing the dentist time to talk about ways to care for their child’s smile until they are able to brush and floss successfully. Parents may also learn about specific conditions that may impact their child’s dental health. This includes habits such as sucking the thumb or long-term use of a pacifier. These may not seem like a concern, but if they persist as the child gets older, they can contribute to poor bite alignment and formation. Learning how to curb these issues as they happen can have a significant impact on the child’s future smile!
Ways to Avoid Dental Caries in Infants and Children
Before infants can brush, parents should be mindful of the following:
- Do not allow the baby to go down to sleep with a bottle of formula, milk, or juice
- Use a warm, wet washcloth on the teeth and gums after eating
- Monitor and reduce the use of pacifiers whenever possible, and catch thumb-sucking before it starts
- Visit the dentist every six months after the first appointment
- Ask questions at dental visits to learn more about caring for your child’s smile
Connect with a Children’s Dentist in Carlsbad, CA Today
Dr. Anakarina DeAngelis and her team at DeAngelis Family Dentistry work routinely with parents to help them decide when the time is right for their child to start their path to oral health and wellness. If your baby or child is due for a visit, we encourage you to call our family-friendly practice at (760) 444-5507 to request an appointment. Our office is conveniently located at 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Suite #105.