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When Should Kids See the Dentist?

February 11, 2023 8:00 am

If you are wondering when your child should start going to the dentist, you’ve come to the right place. It may be earlier than you’d expect!

Early Dental Visits in Childhood

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises parents and guardians to bring their kids to the dentist when their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Then, most children benefit from routine visits every 6 months.

Early, regular visits allow your child’s dentist to closely monitor their smile as they grow and develop. These visits help your child become familiar with visiting the dentist so they are more likely to feel comfortable and less anxious about this healthy habit as they grow up. Dentists can also help provide guidance to parents navigating difficult topics related to their child’s oral health and development, such as:

  • Latching issues & tongue ties
  • Baby bottle tooth decay
  • Teeth cleaning at home
  • Bottle & pacifier weaning
  • Periods of teething
  • Thumbsucking
  • And more!

How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy at Home

Your child’s at-home oral hygiene routine contributes to a healthy smile between their biannual dental visits. Here are some tips to help you keep their oral health on track:

  • Don’t give your child a bottle or sippy cup of anything other than water when they take a nap or go to bed.
  • Brush your child’s teeth until they have enough dexterity to brush their own teeth usually around 6-8 years of age. At this time, you should still supervise their brushing.
  • Use a child-sized toothbrush with a fun design and choose an appetizing toothpaste flavor. Apply a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice for children under 3, at which time you can increase to a pea-sized amount. Encourage your child to spit out their toothpaste as soon as they are able.
  • Moderate the amount of sugar your child gets in a day. Provide a balanced diet that contains plenty of whole fruits and vegetables. Encourage they drink water or milk instead of juice and soda.

Gentle Children’s Dentist in Petaluma, CA

Are you looking for a gentle dentist for kids in Petaluma, CA? Our friendly team at Alma Dental Care loves taking care of patients of all ages, including children! With our unique practice philosophy, we strive to help each patient feel safe and heard during their visits with us.

We’d be delighted to help you care for your child’s oral health. Please contact us to schedule appointments for your entire family at Alma Dental Care!

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