When Should I Begin Taking My Kids to the Dentist?
New and 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. Our hope is to become the ‘dental home’ at an early age and start developing a sense of familiarity. However, at such a young age it is difficult to gain compliance from patients. 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 a 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 with their children. Among other things, we will discuss how much fluoride they need, 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 are the same way. 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 typically 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.