At What Age do I Begin Taking My Kids to the Dentist?
New or expecting parents often inquire about what age their children should begin seeing the dentist. In a perfect world, we would begin seeing children for visits after their first teeth begin erupting. Unfortunately, very few would be willing to cooperate at that age. Our hope is to become their ‘dental home’ at an early age and start developing a sense of familiarity and a positive relationship. We more frequently recommend their first visit around the age of 2-3 or when all of their primary (baby) teeth have erupted.
There are a number of different goals we have for your child’s first dental visit. On top of the typical dental exam where we check the teeth and surrounding tissues, our goal is to educate the parents on how they can help maintain good oral health for their children. Among other things, we will discuss how much fluoride they need, what kinds of toothpaste to use, what habits may lead to cavities, and how you can assist each day in cleaning their teeth.
It is important to remember that each child develops at a different rate and the eruption timing of teeth may vary. For most, the lower central incisors appear within 6-10 months, followed shortly by the upper central incisors. The final primary (baby) teeth to erupt are usually the upper second molars anywhere from 25-33 months. During the time the teeth are coming in, your child may experience sore or tender gums. You can rub their gums with clean wet gauze or even your finger. A chilled teething ring can also work, but you definitely do not want to dip it in sugar, syrup or other foods. If your child still remains uncomfortable, we recommend consulting your pediatrician.