When Should My Child Go to The Dentist for The First Time?

Your baby’s first year is a whirlwind of exciting milestones and experiences. One important “first” you should add to your list is a dental visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends your child have their first dental visit within six months of the first tooth eruption or by their first birthday.

Some of our patients are surprised their child needs to see the dentist at such a young age. Conventional wisdom used to say you could wait until a child was a toddler for their first dental visit.

However, the recommendations have changed. According to the AAPD, “The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend a dental visit for children by age one.”

Why the big rush to get your baby to the dentist? Here are three reasons from the AAPD you should take your child before their first birthday:

  1. Tooth decay can happen early – Did you know that as soon as baby teeth erupt, they are vulnerable to tooth decay? A pediatric dentist checks for decay and, if it exists, stops it before it becomes serious.
  2. Baby teeth are a big deal – Baby teeth shouldn’t be ignored. They serve several important purposes — they help with proper chewing, are crucial to your child’s speech development and serve as a place holder for permanent teeth.
  3. An early visit can save money – According to the AAPD, “a study in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who have their first dental visit before age one have 40 percent lower dental costs in their first five years than children who do not, due to the cost of dental and medical procedures that may be necessary as a result of poor oral health.”

Our office offers a complimentary first visit to children under the age of one. Call us at (816) 479-5562 to make your appointment today. Information for this blog post was taken from a great fact sheet from the AAPD – check it out for more info. http://www.mychildrensteeth.org/assets/2/7/GetItDoneInYearOne.pdf