It’s a question asked by parents all around the country: When is the best time for a child to go to the dentist? Unfortunately, too many of them start to bring their kids to the family dentist much later than is suggested by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Why are parents waiting to let their kids be seen by a dental professional and is this a practice that is beneficial or detrimental to the oral health and well-being of young children? There are a number of reasons why a child may be held back from their initial visit to a dentist’s chair.
The Best Time For Children To See A Dentist
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the recommended age for a child to see the dentist for the first time is when they reach the age of one year. However, the timing of the child’s first tooth coming in can also dictate when is the best time to bring them to the dentist.
The child can be brought to the dentist Cary NC six months after that initial tooth has erupted. In either instance, that first visit can take place well before the national average of 2.5 years of age that most parents have waited until before visiting a dentist’s office with their child.
So what has taken them so long? A majority of the time, the reason parents had neglected to take their child to a dental professional was because they felt their kid was too young or they simply did not have enough teeth in their mouth yet.
Those teeth they are referring to are the child’s primary or baby teeth and these are critical for a child’s proper growth and development. This is because we all need teeth to eat and speak and when we are very young, their purpose is no different. These teeth are vital for helping a child chew his or her food, promote good speech development, and ensure a robust smile that will give the child self-confidence.
Brushing And Flossing
These are the two foundations for encouraging positive oral health and that initial visit to the dentist can educate the child as to their importance. A dentist can teach the child not only the correct techniques for these vital functions but how often to employ them in the service of preserving their teeth for when the primary ones fall out and the permanent ones come in.
But getting your child to the dentist can be a significant challenge, one that can make the child afraid or nervous. This is another good reason why your child should go to the dentist at an early age, the younger they are when they begin, the less likely they are to be nervous or scared of such visits.
Starting them early will help ease their fears as that initial visit being made at the age of two or three years old could stir up some anxiety about going to the dentist, making it tougher to get them to go willingly.