When Should Kids First See a Dentist? 3 Pediatric Oral Health Tips

Taking care of your oral health is an important part of taking care of your overall health, and the same is true for young children. That’s why it’s important to start dental care at an early age and get your children accustomed to seeing their dentist regularly.

Starting early helps children build healthy, lifelong dental care habits and it also helps them feel more positive about their dental visits.

Since getting kids used to going to the dentist can seem challenging, we’ve put together these 3 pediatric oral health tips for building healthy habits and a positive experience at the dentist’s office.

3 Essential Pediatric Oral Health Tips: When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

1. When the Baby Teeth Come In, It’s Time for a Dental Visit

Many parents wonder just when they should start taking their child to the dentist. The answer is that when their baby teeth come in, it’s time for that first dental visit. 

Dental disease can create problems in baby teeth too. One common example is something called baby bottle syndrome. This occurs when parents use a baby bottle containing juice or milk or some form of liquid other than water as a sleep aid or keep it in the crib all night. 

Juice or milk from the bottle can pool around your child’s teeth and, over time, the bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in that liquid to cause tooth decay. This can also happen when children carry a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice around with them all day. 

That’s just one reason why it’s important to begin proper dental care as soon as your child’s teeth erupt. Your pediatric dentist can give you important oral health care tips to prevent problems like baby bottle syndrome or any other problems they may discover.

As your child gets older, your dentist can educate them about how to build healthy oral health care habits that will last a lifetime. 

2. Timing is Key

Another pediatric oral health tip is that timing is key when scheduling an appointment for your baby. It’s best if you can time it so it is between naps and after feeding. 

If your child is hungry or tired when they arrive at the dentist’s office, they are likely to be much less cooperative. That can easily create a negative experience that will make them reluctant to come back. 

It can also make them more leery of the dentist and their staff, and these kinds of feelings can last a lifetime. The goal is to give your child a positive experience so that they will look forward to coming to see the dentist. 

Mornings are often the best time of day for your young child’s appointment. This is likely the time of day when your young child is most alert and ready for new experiences. You want them to be as open as possible to meeting new people and having those new experiences. Morning appointments are the best time for that to happen. 

3. Bring Toys for a Better Pediatric Oral Health Experience

Another way that you can help your child form positive associations with their dentist is to make the experience a fun one for them. Bring their favorite toys to distract them from any fearful emotions they might have. 

When they have something familiar with them that they like playing with, your child will come to see the dentist as a fun place to go. 

The more your child views the dentist as a pleasant place to be where they can have fun, the more likely it is that they will maintain the oral health care habits they form at this early age for the rest of their life. 

With proper dental care from such a young age, your child’s overall oral health will be better over the long run. That also means that their overall health will be better over the course of their lifetime. Many health problems can be linked to poor dental hygiene. These include certain cardiac conditions, such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia. To avoid this, it’s vital to help your child have a good experience at the dentist so they build good oral health care habits for a lifetime of better health.

Reach Out To A Kid-Friendly Dentist in Richmond, VA For Your Child’s First Visit

Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond is a kid-friendly dental office. The professional staff at their office are dedicated to helping patients of all ages, including the very youngest, to develop healthy pediatric oral health care habits so their teeth will last a lifetime. Give them a call at (804) 784-2386 today or book a free consultation through their form to get your child started on the path to a healthier smile! 

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