When Should You Take Your Child to a Family Dentist?

Feb 16, 2024 | Blog Posts

When Should You Take Your Child to a Family Dentist?

A lot goes into raising children and ensuring their healthy development. Dental care is a critical area of child wellness. To ensure that your child is meeting developmental milestones and to build a foundation for lifelong oral health, you’ll need to answer important questions like “What’s a good family dentist near me?” and “When is the right time to bring my child in for a checkup?”

Planning Your Child’s First Visit

Your child’s first visit to their family dentist is an important milestone. It will provide a solid foundation and identify any areas of concern. However, many parents aren’t fully aware of when they should bring their child in for their first pediatric dentistry checkup.

In general, you should bring your child to their first appointment within six months after their first tooth emerges or by the time they are one year old, whichever is earlier. Remember that routine oral hygiene is still vital even before the first visit. This involves gently cleaning your child’s gums before teeth emerge.

After finding your preferred family dentist, you should schedule your child’s first appointment. For that initial visit, you can expect a straightforward and comfortable experience. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth and teeth for signs of a variety of different dental health concerns, such as tooth decay, enamel defects, and more.

They will also look for signs of developmental issues that may affect your child’s bite or speech. Identifying these concerns early on can make treatment much more accessible and prevent the need for more severe intervention years later.

This first visit will also allow you to ask any questions about oral hygiene and development. The dentist will provide clear information on how you can provide your child with the best possible foundation for lifelong oral health.

Keeping Up With Routine Appointments

After your child’s first appointment, you can schedule routine appointments with your trusted pediatric dental professionals. In general, your child should have an appointment every six months. This is true for patients of most ages unless they have some specific dental concern that requires more frequent visits.

These routine visits will form the foundation of your child’s preventive dental care. Professional teeth cleaning and exams will protect against tooth decay and gum disease and provide advance notice of a wide range of serious dental issues.

Keeping up with regular visits can help reduce the extent of cavities, also called dental caries. Over half of U.S. children aged 6–8 have had one or more cavities in their baby teeth.[1] You might think this doesn’t matter since they’ll lose those teeth anyway. This isn’t the case, however, as tooth decay in baby teeth can affect the healthy development of adult teeth, not to mention the discomfort the cavities cause to your child.

Routine visits also let your family dentist monitor your child’s dental development. Identifying issues early on can allow for less invasive early orthodontic intervention options. Instead of dealing with braces a few years later, your child’s development could benefit from more comfortable and affordable treatment options today.

Reasons to Visit a Family Dentist Near Me

Of course, there are other reasons that your child may require dental services beyond routine visits. Dealing with dental issues can be challenging when you aren’t sure whether you should reach out to your dentist.

You should contact your dentist immediately if your child experiences a dental emergency. This can include chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth and sudden, severe toothache. Don’t ignore concerns just because they’re only affecting baby teeth. Losing baby teeth early affects development, potentially leading to orthodontic issues in the adult teeth.

Other issues can be more challenging to identify, especially if they affect an infant who can’t communicate effectively. A toothache could be the cause of your child’s distress. Tooth decay often leads to toothache and sensitivity in young children, especially those who drink from a bottle or sippy cup for extended periods.

Your child’s behavior could also be a reason to contact your dentist. Thumb sucking, late pacifier use, and other habits can cause developmental issues. Make sure to bring up any such observations to your dentist, who can provide advice and interventions to prevent long-term oral health issues.

Why You Should Choose Dental Professionals With Pediatric Experience

When comparing kids’ dentists to bring your child to for their first visit, there are a few things you should look for. First, always choose a family dentist with specific pediatric care experience. You want to know that your child will benefit from the practice’s expertise, knowledge, and skills.

Choosing a family dentist rather than a specific pediatric dentist can also have benefits. For instance, it ensures continuity of care as your child develops, which can make them less anxious about visiting the dentist. You can ensure they have access to all the care they need throughout their development and beyond.

Your Trusted Family Dentist in Albion

Are you still looking for “a good family dentist near me” to serve as the dental home that helps protect your entire family’s oral health and guides your child’s development? If so, look no further than Albion Family Dental. We provide a full range of dental services, including pediatric dentistry. You can find the solution for all of your child’s dental needs in our warm and welcoming environment. Call us at 585-589-9044 or schedule your child’s next appointment today.



[1] https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/fast-facts/cavities/index.html