This is a question which is asked very often at our office by parents and the answer may surprise you. Parents often wonder at what age it would be appropriate to bring their precious little ones to see the dentist. Some parents believe that there is no need to see a dentist until all the baby teeth have grown in, while others believe that visits are not necessary until all the permanent dentition are present.
The official guideline from the Canadian Dental Association is “First visit to the dentist by age 1 or within 6 months of first tooth eruption”, and “ideally children should see a dentist before their first birthday and regularly thereafter-just like regular check-ups with their family doctor”.
Parents may wonder: what is there to check when the baby has so few teeth? The fact is there are many inherited and infectious oral conditions that can be detected early, such as tongue-tie, thrush, or even cavities (yes, your child can get cavities even if he/she only has 2 teeth!). For children less than 3 years old, the visit usually consists of only visual examination- there are no cleaning or x-rays required unless the oral hygiene is very poor or if we see decay.
Visiting the dentist at an early age will also reduce your child’s anxiety when having dental visits later in life, as it become a fun routine. When we see children who are 3, 4, 5 years old or older who are only visiting the dentist for the first time, they can be more anxious of the whole new experience.
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