Novato Family Dentist Answers Questions About Your Child’s First Visit

Written by Dr. McConnell on Nov 8, 2016

If you have an infant or small child, you may be wondering when you should schedule their first visit to your family dentist. You may think that it’s sufficient for you to care for their oral hygiene yourself until permanent teeth start coming in, but your child’s visits to the family dentist should begin long before that event!

When should my child first see a dentist?

Your child should have their first visit as soon as his or her first tooth erupts, usually between 6 and 12 months of age, but no later than their first birthday. This establishes a pattern of proper dental care for your child, helping to avoid “dental phobia” that can lead to problems later in life.

Why so early? What dental problems could my baby have?

Try to think of your child’s baby teeth as building blocks for the future of their good oral health. Baby teeth act as a placeholder in the jaw for permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth too soon, the surrounding teeth may start to shift into the empty space.  This shift can cause permanent teeth to be crooked or crowded. Routine office visits enable us to monitor these teeth as they emerge.

Isn’t it enough for me to brush and clean their teeth at home?

The primary reason for early childhood visits to the Novato Family Dentist is to begin a thorough prevention program. Dental problems can develop early, and besides checking for tooth decay and other potential problems, we’ll show you the proper way to clean your child’s teeth. Once their diet includes anything besides breast-milk, erupted teeth are at risk for decay. The earlier the dental visit, the better chance we have of preventing potential dental problems.

What steps can I take to ensure the good dental health of my child?

The best thing you can do is to provide them with a well-balanced diet and ensure that they brush and floss daily. Scheduling regular dental checkups for them at the Novato Family Dentist office is the best way to ensure a beautiful, healthy lifetime smile for your child.