When should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
Did you know that most children in the UK don’t see a dentist until they’re two or three years old? Unfortunately, this is a lot later than what most dental professionals recommend.
Ideally, children should go to the dentist within six months after their first tooth emerges. For most children, this will be around the age of 1, because children begin teething at about six months of age. However, some children start teething sooner and some start teething later, so it will depend on your baby.
Why is it important for young children to see a dentist?
Many parents believe that the age of 1 is too early to take a child to the dentist. However, it is important to take children to the dentist at an early age. This for several reasons, including:
- The dentist can spot early signs of plaque and prevent your child from getting cavities.
- The dentist can give you advice on how to best take care of your child’s teeth, including advice on brushing and flossing. This can set the foundation for lifelong oral health.
- Dental visits at an early age can help make your child accustomed to going to the dentist, thereby making future visits easier.
In all, dental visits at an early age help to keep your child’s baby teeth in good health. Without regular dental visits, your child could be at risk of plaque, dental decay and even tooth loss.
Does it matter if my child lose her baby teeth prematurely?
You might wonder if it’s such a bad thing if a child loses a baby tooth due to bacterial decay – don’t all baby teeth fall out anyway when the adult teeth come in? This is true, but in fact, baby teeth are important for many reasons. These include:
- Baby teeth help children to chew their food properly, thus helping your child to maintain good nutrition
- Baby teeth actually help your child to learn to talk
- Having a full set of healthy baby teeth makes it more likely that your child will have healthy, straight teeth as an adult
- Having a full set of teeth makes children feel good about their appearance
What if my child is scared of going to the dentist?
Dental anxiety is normal in young children and thankfully there are a few things you can do to ease your child’s nerves.
- Take your child with you to your own dental appointments. This way, he can see that daddy or mummy is comfortable in the dentist chair.
- Read stories or watch videos with your child about dental visits. There are lots of books about dental visits available, or you can look on YouTube for fun videos targeted to children.
- Play games with your child about dental visits. You can pretend to be the patient for example and your child can roleplay being a dentist. Have fun examining each others’ teeth so that your child will feel more at ease during a real dental examination.
Dental visits at an early age help to keep teeth healthy not just in childhood but also throughout adulthood too.
If you’re looking for a dentist who’s good with children, then look no further than us. We have years of experience helping children to feel confident in the dentist’s chair. Simply book an appointment by calling our reception team.
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