When should I take my little one to the dentist?

You’ve brought your little newborn bundle of joy home and some months have passed.  You may be getting back to taking the luxury of sleep for granted again (or not…) and your little one starts to smile.

You start to wonder when that smile will have some teeth and you’re hit with a wave of questions on how to take care of them.

First things first…

It’s always a good idea to start taking your child to the dentist early—some say as early as the first tooth is visible.  We want your child to be comfortable in a dental setting and coming at an early age gives the dentist an opportunity to build trust with your child and familiarize him or her with things that are normal at the dentist’s office.  These are critical steps to minimizing the apprehension of a dental setting.  They also give you (the parent) an opportunity to ask the dentist about any concerns you have.  Also, the dentist can see if there are any obvious issues that may need to be addressed as your child grows. For example, my toddler is missing two teeth that she should have (i.e she has congenitally missing teeth). This is a common occurrence somewhere in her family tree (…ahem…on her mother’s side).  She will likely be missing the adult teeth that come in behind the baby teeth which means that we have to think about braces as she grows.  Additionally, there may be underlying conditions (beyond her genes) that may cause her to be missing those teeth.  Close and frequent observation is needed to make sure things don’t get out of hand.  The other day, I noticed that some of her gums indicate she may need a minor procedure to allow her teeth to line up correctly.  All of these things can be noted by a quick glance by your dentist and they can give you an idea of what to expect as your child grows.

Hopefully, this also explains why it is important for your growing little one to see the dentist every six months.  The earlier something is caught, the easier it is to manage it.

Contact us to make an appointment for you and your little one today at your favorite Webster Groves Dentist!

This post is part 1 of 2 in a series of posts addressing common dental related questions for the new parent.  Stay tuned for more!

Lockwood Family Dental Care