Choosing a dentist for your child is a big decision. A child’s early experiences at the dentist’s office can shape the way they engage with dental care for the rest of their lives. If those experiences are negative, that child is less likely to get regular check-ups as an adult and more likely to have poor oral health. Conversely, children who have a fun, positive experience at the dental clinic are more likely to become adults who look after their teeth. As such, your child’s first dentist should not necessarily be the first care provider you come across. So, there is a lot to take into account.
Of course, making sure that your child has fun at the dental clinic is not your only priority. Parents should also take care to find a pediatric dentist with the proper qualifications, experience, and skills to ensure their kids get the best dental care.
When to Start Taking Your Child to the Dentist
The American Dental Association recommends that all children and adults should see a dentist for an exam every six months. Children may need to visit the dentist slightly more often if they have a condition, which leaves them at risk of developing dental problems. However, this is something your dentist will discuss with you.
Most people are aware of this “once every six months” general guidance, but few of us are certain at what point their child should start seeing the dentist regularly. Many children do not start visiting the dentist until they are five or six years old, by which point they may be experiencing tooth decay.
In an ideal world, every child would start seeing a dentist as soon as their very first tooth appears. This will help them to develop good oral hygiene habits as they grow and will mean they are less likely to suffer with dental anxiety.