Your child's first dental visit should occur by age one or within six months of when you see the first tooth.
Regular dental examinations support good health. The earlier your child visits the dentist, the better the chance of preventing a problem, such as decay. This can also increase your child's comfort with the experience. The dentist will:
- Examine your child's mouth
Address any problems before they become more serious
Monitor the development of your child's teeth
Provide tips to care for your child's teeth and gums
Fluoride may be applied to strengthen their teeth.
Preparing your child for their visit
To help create a positive experience for your child:
Frequency of exams
Your dentist will recommend how often your child should visit, normally twice a year. This allows the dentist to catch any potential problems early to prevent the problems from getting much worse. Children who are at increased risk of tooth decay, have unusual growth patterns, or who have poor oral hygiene may need more frequent visits.
X-rays are generally not taken until your child is old enough to understand how to cooperate for this procedure. X-rays show decay between teeth and also show if adult teeth are coming in properly. Under some circumstances, like an accident involving the mouth, dental X-rays may be done on children as young as a year old. The X-rays are safe for your child. Dentists are careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed.