At What Age Should I Take My Toddler To The Dentist?
Teaching your toddler excellent oral hygiene at an early age includes regular visits to the dentist. It is important to visit the dentist twice per year for checkups and cleanings. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers as young as 12 months visit the dentist. This is more to determine that all is well with your child’s dental development and to address any potential problems. Regular cleanings should begin at two years of age.
When your toddler first visits the dentist it is normal for him to be apprehensive. Instead of talking about how the dentist could hurt them or how your child might not like it, focus on the positive. Talk about how the dentist will help your toddler keep their teeth strong and healthy. Also, tell your toddler he is really a big boy if he is old enough to visit the dentist! Most dentists give kids toothbrushes, stickers, and other prizes. Tell your toddler how cool the dentist is and that he gives the good little boys and girls special prizes. This will motivate your child to behave and let the dentist check his mouth.
You should take your baby to the dentist as well if your child has no teeth by age 16 months. Alternatively, if you notice decay or signs that your child’s teeth are not as healthy as they should be then you will want to schedule an appointment with a dentist. In most cases, a pediatric dentist is the best option because they are trained in cleaning little one’s mouths and generally really like kids. Your child will pick up on this and really have fun at the dentist.
Remember, good oral hygiene isn’t just about visiting the dentist twice a year. You will also need to brush your toddler’s teeth twice per day and make sure that the teeth are clean. It’s okay to allow your toddler to brush on his own, but you will need to brush to make sure the teeth are clean, too. When your child is between the ages of 5 and 7 they are better prepared to brush their teeth on their own. Don’t let your child go without brushing their teeth just because they don’t appear to like it or they fight you. It is important to brush their teeth to prevent decay and you will need to make them do it.