Let’s be real—it’s not easy to take care of your kid’s teeth. Many challenges await that endeavor. There’s the midnight nursing sessions that leave you too tired to clean up after. Not to mention the excessive amount of resistance you’ll get when you first start off. Unfortunately, no shortcut will leave your kids effortlessly cavity-free for the rest of their lives. One thing can make things easier: have their first dental visit before age 1.
If you’ve been with us long enough, you probably know this isn’t the first time we’ve suggested this. We’re big fans of bringing your kids to the dentist once their primary teeth emerge. For us, it’s the best time for their first dental visit. You can chalk it up to being overcautious, but there’s actually a good reason for it. Here’s why you should probably have your kids’ first dental visit before age 1:
They’re more likely to be dentally healthy throughout their life
It can sound a little ludicrous to take your kids to the dentist when they barely have teeth. Others might even call it a waste of time and money. Arguably, however, it’s actually the best time for their first dental visit.
Yes, for the most part, oral bacteria only really become a threat when there are teeth involved. But by this definition, your child’s teeth are in danger as soon as they emerge. Of course, other things affect this. An important one, in particular, is how much the bacteria colonized the mouth. Children, particularly newborns, initially don’t have the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. It’s their parents that give it to them, mainly via saliva transfer. The more bacteria their parents have in their mouths, then, the more likely they’ll develop tooth decay once their teeth erupt.
There are two things we can take away from this. One, your oral health matters as much as your child’s, so you can’t skimp on your dental routine either. Two, your child’s newly erupted teeth are ripe targets for oral bacteria.
The earlier your child gets their teeth checked, then, the less likely this will happen. During the check-up, your kid’s pediatric dentist can check the tooth for any signs of decay. When they do spot red flags, they can reverse the situation before it turns ugly. Because of this, your kid is less likely to get severe dental disease in their lifetime.
It makes it easier for them to build good oral habits
You might also receive a prescription for some lifestyle changes during that first appointment. Follow this, and your child won’t just avoid bad oral problems—they might just have an advantage when it comes to oral health.
If your child’s pediatric dentist doesn’t find any problems during the first visit, the next appointment typically happens six months later. Having an appointment every six months, then, allows their dentist to track their dental progress. By doing this, they can see which parts of their routine works and which do not. After all, your child deserves to have the best smile they can get—and their pediatric dentist is out to do just that.