How old should a baby be to go to a dentist?

When is your child old enough to visit the dentist?

Your child depends on you for a healthy smile.

It's easy to feel unsure about dentistry for your kids before they have a full set of permanent teeth. However, deciduous "baby" teeth are equally important; your child's teeth assist with both eating and speaking, as well as holding a place in their mouth for the eruption of adult teeth.

To help parents like you understand the age babies should go to the dentist, let's explore what happens in the first dental appointment.

Caring for baby teeth helps to keep your child smiling.Caring for baby teeth helps to keep your child smiling.

What age should my child first go to the dentist?

There's little harm in taking your child to the dentist as soon as possible. What makes the most sense is to bring your child to a dentist as soon as their primary teeth come through. Usually, this will be at around six months old.

Of course, if you notice any irregularities with your child's mouth before this, an earlier visit may be necessary. Remember, it pays to be cautious – preventing cavities is much easier than restoring damaged teeth.

Early dental visits can foster good oral health routines.Early dental visits can foster good oral health routines.

What should I expect for my child's first dental visit?

It's unlikely your child will have any problems to be addressed in their first visit. Instead, a few things will happen:

  • The dentist will take a full medical history for your child. Remember, bodily health and oral health are intrinsically linked, so it's possible for any health complications to further affect your child's teeth and gums as they develop.
  • Your child will be given an opportunity to acclimate to the dentist's office. Taking steps to make dental appointments a comfortable, familiar experience can help to prevent dental fear later in life and thereby improve your child's health outcomes.
  • The dentist will perform a quick check for any problems you might not have noticed, like tooth decay or swollen gums.
  • You'll get the opportunity to chat with the dentist about further care of your child's teeth. You might learn how to brush your child's teeth or any strategies to encourage healthy care routines.

If you're expecting a child, you should be visiting a dentist regularly to maintain your teeth throughout your pregnancy. This is a great chance to talk about dental care for your child so everything is organised well in advance and you don't have to stress.

For more information about family dentistry, or to schedule a check-up, book an appointment online or call City Dentists on 04 978 4964.