Ask any parent of a newborn about when they should first bring their baby to the dentist and they may furrow their brow and wonder what you’re talking about. That’s because the average age that a parent brings their child to the dentist is 2 ½ years old.
However, dentists have been recommending that infants be brought to visit with their dentist by the age of 1. That is about 6 months before their first teeth begin pushing through their gums.
The value of early dental visits
While most people know that baby teeth will fall out when the child is 7, 8, 9, or even later, making way for their fully developed adult teeth, that doesn’t mean they should be ignored.
Gum disease, cavities, and other oral issues can develop quite early in life. They may rarely be noticed until much later, though. Since infants and young children are not expected to be able to brush their teeth, they don’t get the same care that older teeth do.
Yet food still gets caught in between the teeth, bacteria grows, and the sucking motion that babies make –especially when sucking on a pacifier or their thumb- can actually pull teeth out of the alignment, which can lead to braces later in life.
A dentist can get a good idea about your baby’s oral health from that first year, can monitor and track any potential problems as they develop, and stay ahead of problems that might otherwise go undetected for quite some time.
Primary teeth should not be thought of as temporary, but the building blocks of a healthy smile later in life. Damage caused to baby teeth can often affect the adult teeth. When you stay on top of your child’s oral health, you will be doing him or her a great service for later on in life.
When your child is 1, bring them to their dentist.