Teething is something every child and parent has to go through. It can cause tears, sleepless nights, temperatures and more but when that first tooth comes through it’s a proud moment for everyone.
So, when do kids start going to the dentist? Going to the dentist regularly is unavoidable throughout childhood and adulthood but do babies really need to see a dentist? Here’s everything you need to know.
When Will My Baby’s First Tooth Come Through?
The time it takes for a baby’s first tooth to come through will vary greatly between children. Some babies have been known to be born with a first tooth, whereas others may take a few months for their first tooth to appear.
Some babies can take up until their first birthday or beyond to get their first teeth. So, you shouldn’t worry about your baby meeting a particular time scale. Each and every child is unique and the rate at which their teeth grow is unique too.
When Should I Take My Baby To The Dentist For The First Time?
You can take your baby to the dentist for the first time as soon as the first tooth appears. It’s important to do this so your dentist can monitor the growth of your child’s teeth and make sure they’re doing what they should.
As soon as your baby has teeth, he’s susceptible to cavities. Regular visits to the dentist will ensure you have all the advice and support you need to keep your baby’s teeth and gums clean and healthy.
If your baby takes a while to start growing teeth, you can still schedule an appointment with your dentist before he reaches one year old. Your dentist will be able to x-ray your baby’s mouth and give you an indication of when teeth may begin to show.
How Can I Prepare My Child?
Going to the dentist for the first time can be a little daunting for any child. You can help to prepare your child for the visit by talking to him about what will happen.
You may want to get your child to practice opening his mouth so the dentist can look and count the number of teeth. You can also use books or visual aids to teach your child about what happens at the dentist and why it’s a positive thing.
Most dentists will hand out stickers or other forms of reward for children during their visit so parents can enforce a positive atmosphere at the dentist’s office.
What Happens During the Visit?
When you first visit the dentist, there may be some registration forms to sign. You may want to pop in and sign these before your appointment so you don’t have to think about it on the day.
In most cases, the dentist will ask you to sit on the dental seat with your child on your lap. Once you and your child are comfortable, the dentist will ask to look in your child’s mouth to check for any cavities, misalignments, mouth injuries or other issues.
The dentist will then clean your child’s teeth and give you an opportunity to ask any questions. This is a great time to ask any questions relating to teething or any other worries you may have regarding your child’s mouth.
How to Have a Successful Dentist Visit
Many parents dread taking their children to the dentist for the first time. What if they refuse to open their mouths? What if they’re too scared of the dentist? There are many things that can potentially go wrong but if you’ve got some great tips and advice, you can give it the best chance of success.
- The first thing to remember is to schedule an appointment at a time that suits your child. If your visit falls right in the middle of nap time, your child is unlikely to be cooperative. Pick a time when your child is likely to be well-rested.
- It’s absolutely fine to feed your child beforehand. You may want to think about feeding your child a light meal and then brushing his teeth but saving the snacks until after the appointment. That way, there isn’t any leftover food in your child’s mouth during the appointment and your child has something to look forward to once the visit is over.
- Try and keep your attitude positive during the experience. If you’re apprehensive or anxious, your child will pick up on it. Let your child know that going to the dentist can be fun.
- Don’t worry if your child does become upset. Your dentist and oral hygienist have seen it all before and probably have a few tricks up their sleeve to calm the situation. If you can’t calm your child down, it may be best to leave and try again another day.
- If your baby has an older sibling that enjoys going to the dentist, it can be some much-needed assurance for your baby to take them along. The older sibling will be able to encourage your younger child.
When Do Kids Start Going to the Dentist 101
So, when do kids start going to the dentist? Getting as much information about your baby’s first dental trip will ensure you both start off on the right foot. There’s no perfect timing for your first trip but try to schedule an appointment as the first teeth start to appear.
Here’s some more information that tells you why your baby visiting the dentist is so important.