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What Age Should A Child Go To The Dentist?

Here at Chesterfield Dentistry one of the questions we’re often asked is “when should I start taking my child to the dentist?”

The sooner children start attending regular check-ups the healthier their mouths will remain throughout their lives. The American Dental Association recommends that children visit a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth and certainly by the age of one.

Early checkups help to prevent tooth decay and cavities which can lead to pain, loss of concentration, and other medical conditions. Little ones with healthy teeth can chew their food with ease, smile with confidence, and learn to speak clearly and communicate more effectively. This ‘baby first dental visit’ will teach parents and caregivers how to look after their children’s teeth and help them to remain free of cavities.

What are the benefits of an early visit to a pediatric dentist?

Many patients wait too long before taking their youngster to the dentist and this can have negative effects on their dental and overall health. Tooth decay is the most chronic disease among America’s children despite the fact that it can at most times be prevented by introducing good oral habits combined with regular dental checkups. For instance, many pediatric dentists see children with cavities that have occurred because they’ve fallen asleep with a bottle of juice or milk. At Chesterfield Dentistry we can advise parents as to

  • Why this causes tooth decay
  • How important it is for your child to drink water, juice, and milk from a cup as they near their first birthday
  • How to brush their child’s teeth

It’s also very important that children keep their primary teeth until they fall out naturally. Teeth that fall out too soon encourage the remaining teeth to move forward. As a result, permanent teeth are more likely to come through crooked and misaligned. Should your pediatric dentist find your child has a cavity they can treat your child’s teeth with sealants and fluoride applications to protect teeth from further decay.

Catching problems early

Early checkups enable your pediatric dentist to spot any dental problems in their early stages and prevents them from getting worse, saving time and money on treatment later. Ensuring a clean mouth means removing any build up of plaque or tartar. As young children haven’t quite mastered the skills of brushing and flossing, it’s even more important for regular check-ups as it means the dentist can remove any plaque or debris your child may have missed. It’s the bacteria contained in plaque which causes tooth decay and cavities.

In addition, early childhood check-ups keep parents informed about the health of their child’s teeth. They enable you to look out for signs such as missing, crooked, or crowded teeth which could hint that orthodontic work may be necessary in the future, which is always hugely beneficial when carried out early in life.

Finally, by attending regular check-ups your child should adopt a positive attitude towards visiting the dentist which is carried on throughout their adult life.

Although your child may feel a little apprehensive, with time they’ll get used to the process and feel more at ease. At Chesterfield Dentistry we adopt a gentle, caring approach so your child feels as comfortable as they can while explaining what we’re doing and why we need to be doing it. If your child is going to the dentist for the first time we do all we can to make it a fun experience.

Why not book a baby first dental visit by calling Chesterfield Dentistry today at (314) 469-6429. It’s never too early to get into good oral habits.