When should I take my child to the dentist?
The ideal time is when the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. This is the perfect time for the dentist to carefully examine the development of your child's mouth. Establishing a dental home sooner than later will help to catch any developing dental issues early while also making your child more comfortable with going to the dentist. Also, your dentist can provide or recommend special preventive care to safeguard against problems, such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb-sucking.
How do I prepare for their first visit?
Before the visit, inform your child where they are going in a positive manner. Talk to your child about what to expect and build excitement as well as understanding about the upcoming visit. Explain that the dentist is going to count their teeth and use a special toothbrush to clean them. Try to avoid words like needle, hurt, or shot. If they still seem nervous, let them know you will be with them the entire time.
How Do Children's Teeth Develop?
Children have smaller jaws and fewer teeth than they will have as adults. When they are young, kids have a maximum of 20 teeth. Tooth growth begins at the front with incisors, the flat teeth that comprise the most visible part of the smile and continues toward the round molars toward the back of the jaw. The first permanent molars erupt behind the baby molars without displacing them at around 6 years old. Another full set of four molars comes in six years later, and at 18, the wisdom teeth erupt for the full adult complement of 32 teeth.