When Should I Begin Looking for a Pediatric Dentist for My Baby?

When Should I Begin Looking for a Pediatric Dentist for My Baby?

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Parents naturally begin seeking a pediatrician for their new baby, usually even before the baby arrives. However, the same diligence isn’t usually taken in finding a pediatric dentist for the child, even though pediatric dentistry is crucial to the baby’s good health throughout childhood and beyond.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child be seen by a dentist prior to the first birthday – and certainly within 6 months of the appearance of the child’s first tooth. A baby’s teeth usually begin to appear at around 6 months of age.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize the importance of early dental visits, so most children don’t see a dentist before age 2. Let’s explore when is the ideal time to start searching for a pediatric dentist for your baby.

Dental Visits for Children

One of the primary reasons that pediatric dental visits are crucial is that they establish good oral health habits. This starts with teaching the child’s parents how to care for the child’s gums and, eventually, teeth.

Additionally, when a child is accustomed to seeing the dentist regularly, it decreases fear of going to the dentist as he or she gets older.

Healthy Baby Teeth

Primary teeth or baby teeth play a unique role in a child’s development and oral health. They not only assist with chewing but also aid in language development.

Perhaps most important – or at least equally important – is the role that primary teeth have in the development of permanent teeth. Baby teeth hold the place for teeth that will come in later, guiding them into place. This is why it is so very important that parents make early dental appointments for their babies.

What to Expect from Your Baby’s First Dental Appointment

Pediatric dentists are specially trained in caring for your child. They are accustomed to treating a squirming or active baby.

In most cases, the parent will join the dentist in the examining room, holding the child on his or her lap. The dentist will gladly examine the child from this position if the child is too small to sit in the dental chair.

The dentist will check to see if the child’s teeth are developing properly, if there is evidence of decay in the few teeth the child has, or if there are any injuries or issues with the mouth or gums.

Following the examination, the dentist or the hygienist will gently clean the child’s teeth and/or gums. The dentist will provide information to the parents on how to care for their child’s teeth and educate them on proper brushing techniques.

The dental team will also explain how best to teach your child proper oral self-care. A new parent may not know how to show a child how to brush such tiny teeth!

The visit also allows time for the dentist to answer any questions about pediatric dentistry and how it relates to the child’s oral health – and overall health.

Pediatric Dentist in Oregon

Dr. Ari Binder and his staff at 360 Dental are committed to your family’s dental care. You can count on receiving all that advanced professional dentistry can offer in our family-friendly, kid-friendly environment.

Please call us today for an appointment at (541) 689-1645. You can also complete our simple online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you and your family develop beautiful smiles together.