Surprisingly, tooth decay can occur beneath the gum line well before any baby teeth appear in your child’s mouth. In order to prevent this and other early-onset oral health issues, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents bring their children in to see a pediatric dentist within the first six months after the first tooth erupts, but no later than age one, whether or not teeth are visible. This is only a general guideline. If your infant appears to have excessive oral discomfort or unusual problems teething, a visit to a pediatric dentist is warranted.
Another benefit of bringing your child to a pediatric dentist early is to give them a positive experience with the dentist. When children are introduced to healthcare providers early—and in a non-emergency situation—it can help to establish a comfortable experience.
At Little Smiles, we encourage parents to schedule their child’s first visit at the time of their first tooth or first birthday, whichever comes first. The visit allows your child to meet the dentist, experience a “chair ride” in a child-sized dental chair, and choose a prize from the treasure chest. The visit also has benefits for parents who wish to learn about diet and hygiene that will prevent future cavities and promote a healthy smile.
The Little Smiles team provides an atmosphere for kids that is relaxed and fun, teaching them to enjoy their dentist appointments. The benefit for your child is a healthy, life-long relationship with healthcare providers.