When Does Your Child Need to See the Dentist?

Preparing for Your Little One’s First Visit

As a parent, you want your child to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. To maintain a smile free of dental disease or decay, your child requires regular dental care. Many parents aren’t sure how early they should start bringing their child to the dentist. You may be surprised to learn that Dr. Gregory Wright and Dr. Victoria Heron suggest visits with the dentist should start as soon as the first tooth erupts.

The First Visit

When your little one’s first tooth erupts, don’t forget to make an appointment with the dentist. On average, this occurs around age one. The first visit is really just an exam and rarely involves any treatment. Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron will look at your child’s tooth and examine the rest of his/her smile to make sure the teeth are erupting properly. You may be invited back for a follow up visit.

How Often Does a Child Need a Checkup and Cleaning?

After the initial visit at age one, the American Dental Association doesn’t recommend routine checkups until about age three. Like adults, children benefit from a checkup about once every six months, allowing the dentist to monitor your child’s dental health. A cleaning may be performed as well. As an added bonus, regular visits help children become accustomed to the sights and sounds of the office, reducing dental anxiety and helping Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron instill good dental habits.

Caring for Young Smiles at Home

When the first tooth arrives, you should gently clean the tooth with a piece of cloth twice a day. As more teeth erupt, you can soon upgrade to an age-appropriate toothbrush. Many kids enjoy picking out their own brush, particularly ones featuring a favorite cartoon character. You should assist them with brushing for the first few years to ensure their teeth are cleaned thoroughly.

Flossing also begins as soon as two or more teeth are side-by-side. Flossing helps avoid the onset of tooth decay by removing the food stuck between teeth. Otherwise, bacteria break down these food particles, leading to plague buildup and weakened tooth enamel. If you have any questions about maintaining good dental care for your little one, then call Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron today at (817) 481-7999. Located in Southlake, TX, we’ve proudly served the residents of Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities since 1992.