When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

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To make sure your child's oral health is properly cared for, it is vital to start early with dental care. Starting early with your child's dental care also has the added benefit of teaching your child the importance of caring for their teeth. First off, you will need to pick a dentist; it may be your own dentist or a specialist in children’s dental care. Your dentist will advise you on when they prefer to see children for the first time but it tends to be when their first tooth erupts or before their first birthday. If you think your child is experiencing oral health problems however, it is important to visit straight away.

You should try to make your child think positively about their visits to the dentist, which is another good reason why it is better to visit for a check up and not after a problem has developed. In many cases, if you are afraid of the dentist, your child may sense your nervousness and may become nervous as well. So if you are an anxious dental patient, get your spouse or other family member to take your child to their appointment.

It is also important to get started early with daily dental care at home. You should begin cleaning your child's mouth using a soft, damp cloth before their teeth start to erupt. Once teeth are present, you can start to clean using a very soft toothbrush. Try to limit your child's intake of sweet or sugary drinks and snacks as these can be detrimental to their oral health.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »