The answer to the question “does your child need a dentist?” is a resounding yes.
Children should visit the dentist before their first birthday, no more than six months after their first tooth has erupted. No matter their age, children can develop cavities, so visiting the dentist is crucial. You will learn how to best care for your child’s teeth at home, and your dentist will be able to determine your child’s exact dental care needs. Fluoride treatments are very useful in protecting your child’s teeth from decay and other issues. Taking them to the dentist as soon as possible can allow for these types of procedures to be done early.
Another benefit of visiting the dentist early in your child’s life is that they develop a familiarity with dentist visits, reducing the chance that they will develop anxiety and fear later in life. Most times, no procedures will be done during the first visit, since the child needs time to get used to a new situation. As the parent, you should remain calm and help your child understand what to expect while they’re in the dentist’s chair. The first visit may include examination of your child’s entire mouth, x-rays, and a gentle cleaning. If your child shows any sign of fear or discomfort, you can always ask to reschedule the visit, since the goal at this time is building trust between your child and their dentist. Like adults, children need to see their dentist every six months for a routine check-up.