When to plan your child’s first dental visit in Charleston, SC and what to expect
Many adults are aware that they should see the dentist every six months for preventive care and a professional cleaning, but as a parent, you may be wondering about what age you should take your child to the dentist for the first time and what a dentist actually does for a baby’s or young child’s gums and teeth. Dr. Andrew Greenberg in Charleston, SC provides dental care for even the youngest of patients and the Mouth Carolina Dentistry office provides a warm, comforting environment for your child’s first dental visit.
Importance of early dental care
Even though your child’s first set of teeth are not permanent, they play many important roles in your child’s oral health and overall development. In addition to the basic purpose of chewing food properly, keeping your child’s baby teeth healthy, free from decay, and in the right place until they are ready to naturally fall out is important for the following reasons:
- Teeth are important for speech development. Your teeth are critical in forming certain speech sounds such as S and T, so having healthy teeth in the right spot helps your child properly learn how to form words.
- Having a healthy, pain-free smile is a confidence booster for your child. If they are worried or embarrassed about the way their teeth look or are in pain, then they may resist smiling or talking as frequently as they otherwise would.
- When a tooth is missing for an extended period of time, the other teeth in your child’s mouth will naturally shift into the empty space. By preventing tooth loss due to decay or other reasons, your child’s teeth will remain in their proper places and can potentially reduce the need for orthodontic work later on.
- Many of the baby teeth, especially your child’s first set of molars, are needed for chewing and ensure your child has a proper bite until they are well into adolescence. If your child’s bite is misaligned, then unnecessary wear and tear can damage their teeth.
In addition to keeping your child’s teeth healthy, taking care of their gums from the time they are born is also important. Gum disease can start from a very early age if milk, juice, or food particles remain in your child’s mouth for extended periods of time.
When to take your child to the dentist for the first time
It is typically recommended that you take your child to the dentist by the time they turn one year old, or within six months of the appearance of their first tooth.
In addition to providing the preventive care your child needs at routine dental check-ups, these visits lay an important foundation for good dental habits and your child’s oral health for the rest of their life. By starting regular visits to the dentist from an early age, your child will be able to establish a relationship with the dentist and will have less chance of developing a fear of the dentist or dental office.
What to expect at your child’s first visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist will likely not take very long and depending on the age of your child, there may not be many treatments provided. Your child will be able to sit in the dental chair or you can hold them if they feel more comfortable that way. The dentist will then examine all of your child’s teeth and gums, how your child bites down, and look for any possible issues that have developed or that may occur later on and need to be monitored.
The dentist will also explain the proper care techniques to use on your baby’s gums and sprouting teeth, as well as the right method for brushing their teeth as they grow older. They can also answer any questions that you have about your child’s tooth development, when to expect certain milestones such as additional teeth erupting or when their child will lose their first tooth, and any other topics you’d like to discuss your child’s oral health.
High quality, comfortable dental care for your child
Dr. Andrew Greenberg and the team at Mouth Carolina Dentistry welcome the littlest patients and are happy to answer all your questions about keeping your child’s smile healthy. Start good dental habits early by scheduling your child’s first dentist visit today! Call us at (843)751 4262.