At what age should a child start seeing a dentist? The best age is between one to two years. A lot of people have the experience of seeing a dentist for the first time when they’re in grammar school and their parents think they have a cavity.
Is this the best time and situation for a child to start seeing a dentist? Actually, professional dental exams and preventative treatments should start much earlier, while the child is still a baby. Doing this will help the child learn to trust the dentist and see that visiting their pediatric dentist is not scary.
When parents bring their babies to see Dr. Derek Busciglio, he starts off by doing a lap exam. A lap exam is when the baby’s parent sits in the dental chair and holds the child in their lap. This keeps the child happy and calm. They’re more curious than anything. If we tried to do an exam any other way, the separation from their parents could cause anxiety and trauma. We want to avoid that!
Your child will sit on your lap facing you. Dr. Busciglio will sit across from you. When your child is ready, you help them lay back so that their head is in the doctor’s lap. As the doctor examines their dentition, your child will still be able to see you and can hold your hands, too. Lap exams are a great way to build trust and keep your child calm.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by a pediatric dentist by the time they reach their first birthday or within six months of getting their first tooth – whichever comes first.
Why do they make this recommendation?
Start Good Habits Early
Seeing a dentist every six months should be the goal of every adult. Unfortunately, if they’re not trained from an early age about the importance of investing in the services of dental professionals, they can take the health of their teeth for granted. Before long, they can end up in pain or needing a lot of restorative services.
Getting started at a young age helps your child learn the importance of:
Regular dental exams
Twice annual professional dental cleanings
Proper home care techniques
Nutrition as it relates to the health of their body and their teeth
And in the process, we can also catch bad habits (like thumb sucking) as they develop so we can nip them in the bud.
Establish a Good Relationship with Dental Professionals
The sooner your child gets to know Dr. Busciglio and his team, the sooner they’ll feel at ease with them. Your child will feel like they get to see old friends every time they visit the office. We develop good friendships with many of our patients and look forward to seeing them – and they look forward to seeing us, too!
Catch Dental Issues as Soon as Possible
Regular dental check-ups allow Dr. Busciglio to keep a close eye on your child’s dental health. It doesn’t take long for dental diseases to develop. Changes in diet, hormones, or stress can all play a role in your child’s dental health. When they see a pediatric dentist early and often, he can assess and address any issues your child has and treat them quickly, comfortably, and affordably.
Our pediatric patients mean the world to us. We want to help children keep all their teeth for the duration of their lives. We want them to love their smile and have the confidence to show it off. We’re committed to providing the best care possible to every single patient, from their first visit to the time they graduate from our pediatric office. You and your child can count on us!