At what age, or how many teeth, should you schedule, the first-time dentist's appt?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Liane - posted on 02/21/2010
I'm pretty sure recommended first cleaning/check-up (per a dentist) is still 3 years old. But, it certainly wouldn't hurt to take your child to your appointments (only if you are not a nervous/dramatic dental patient) to experience what it's like. You probably will want to have another adult with you (who also has a positive attitude about dentists) so you can actually get your check-up done. Let them sit in the chair and "check out" the stuff in the room. That way, it won't be so initimidating the first time they have to be seen for a real appointment. I'd also check with your pediatrician to see what they recommend. They should be checking your child for things like bottle/juice rot anyways at your normal well-baby visits. I'm sure they'd let you know if you needed to see the dentist sooner.
Theresa - posted on 02/21/2010
With my boys that are 11 and 14 they recommended waiting until they were three. hat may have changed now. My daughter is 17 months with 10 teeth and hasn't been in yet. I figured the pediatrician will say something at a check up when it's time. I wouldn't go before he's old enough to comprehend opening his mouth when asked and having the doc look. Probably closer to two? Ask his doc if you're unsure.
I agree that it totally depends on the dentist. Call and see what age the dentist you want suggests. Mine won't take them unless there is a problem until they turn 3. As part of well child checks, my pediatrician checks out the teeth. Obviously not as full as a dentist would, but if there was a problem, she'd notice. Yours might, too, without mentioning anything.
Lea - posted on 03/02/2010
When I tried to find a dentist for my 18 month old, I called around looking for a new family dentist. One office told me that they didn't see little kids until they were 4 or 5 getting ready to go to school unless something was wrong. That was several years ago.
I now take my children to a children's dentist (I know they have a specific name and I can't remember it at the moment) and she's wonderful. She wants to see my children as soon at they're a year old so she can take a look at them and make everything's ok. I love that. So, I guess it depends on the dentist.
Kristin - posted on 02/28/2010
Ask your dentist, see when the insurance company starts covering kids, and also talk with your pediatrician. You can always take your son along to one of your appointments so he can watch what happens. Then it isn't so foreign when it's his turn. My older son went the first time at about 2 and the younger at 9 months (he had a spot on a tooth that made me nervous). For either of them the dentist just had them sit in the chair, showed them the tools, did a quick count and check of the teeth, and spoke with the older boy about the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing if Mommy or Daddy see things stuck between even after brushing. The earlier you get them comfortable with these visits, the less stress for everyone. You can probably wait until he is a full year old, especially if you think his teeth are in good shape. Good luck.
Alyn - posted on 02/27/2010
I was told after they get their first teeth--I waited a little longer, but it was before they were 2. It depends on the the dentist I think--we go to a dentist that is just for kids. The first visit is usually just teeth counting, though my daughter did let them put floride on hers.
Brittany - posted on 02/27/2010
My son, who is now a little over 1 1/2, went to the doctor for the 1st time shortly after he turned 1. That's the age that his pediatric dentist likes to start seeing her patients. She will see my son every 6 months & she also said to use the Orojel Training Toothpaste because it's safe if swallowed & flouride-free.
Aisha - posted on 02/26/2010
The dentist say wait till the child can actually sit and maintain themselves (which to me is crazy because who sits calmly at the dentist office?!?!) But I took my now 2 year old when he was 1 year. They check to make sure teeth are growing in correctly and possibly a flouride strip and done!!
Kristina - posted on 02/26/2010
We asked our Dr. she recommended that we talk to our family Dentist. They said that at age two they do a dry run with kids just to get them use to the process. At our sons first visit at 2 they had him sit in the chair showed him all the tools and took a quick look at his mouth. 21/2 he had his first cleaning and full apt. Many parents that we know have waited till 3, so I guess it depends on the parents and dentist. I am glad we started early and was very impressed with our Dental offices process in getting kids use to the Dental experience:)
Ashley - posted on 02/25/2010
i actually just asked this question to my dentist and they say that around one u can bring them in just for the dentist to look and start to get your baby introduced to what the dentist is. she said the dentist just like looks at the teeth and puts his hand in the baby's mouth.
Donna - posted on 02/25/2010
My daughter AbbyGrace went to the dentist at 3 yrs old for the very first time. This was based on conversations with both the pediatrician and dentist. Most dentist in my area of Georgia (Macon) say that the child needs to be able to sit still for a period of time
Rebecca - posted on 02/25/2010
my son had all his teeth bar his 4 mollars by the time he was one, when I went to the dentist she said to take him at around 3-4yrs. Until then give him tap water not bottled and clean his teeth twice a day with a small soft bush.
Roz - posted on 02/25/2010
As a dental hygienist I would say ideally its when his teeth first appear. The first visit is more so that the child gets to know the dental office and what we do there. It can also be an education for the parents so they know what things will impact the growth and/or decay of the teeth. But I would say average age is age 3. Again this visit is so the child gets used to the dentist, so it is possible that not much "dental work" will be done lol. It's more important for the child to remember that it's fun going to the dentist than for them to feel tortured, otherwise future visits won't be as wonderful lol.
At least during the appointment the dentist should look in the mouth to check for decay and help you guys with any questions you have. The hygienist or assistant (assistants can clean childrens teeth as long as there is no scaling involved) will just introduce the child to Mr. Thirsty (the suction), Mr. Sunshine (the light), Mrs. Tickle (the polisher) and Mr. Squirt (the water squirter).
If you thing something is wrong or there might be decay then take him in now at the least. HTH!
Kandice - posted on 02/25/2010
My daughter chipped her tooth at 10ms old so we took her in and was told that you should introduce your child to the dentist at 1yr old and basically just so the child is aware of who it is and what they do so that when it is time for a procedure they are not afraid. My daughter loves the dentist...i think she's crazy lol. We went to a pediactric dentist and they recomended that if your child will allow it let them go back without you because alot of children put on a show for their parents. There is rules that a tech has to be present at all times and the 2 pediactric offices that i have been in all have open exam areas so all staff is present and in sight at all times!
T - posted on 02/24/2010
Go to a pediatric dentist, but NEVER let your child go back alone! I've heard some terrible stories how kids are tied down to the chairs and also how pediatricians are being charged with molesting patients who they are with alone. It is a sick world, so stand up and be the voce for your child and protect him/her.
T - posted on 02/24/2010
I took my daughter when she was 18 months, and I thought that was a perfect time as she could be somewhat cooperative without being fearful. In my opinion waiting until 3 years old is too late. My duaghter has been to the dentist 3 times already since turning three, and even then she needed to have some tartar scraped off, and we brush faithfully 2-3 times a day. By thr age of three, they could end up with a cavity which could very begin instilling fear in going to the dentist if the first/second time they go, they face pain or fear.
Tracey - posted on 02/24/2010
I have 4 kids and every year its a different time my youngest is 2 and he has had his theeth checked all the do is remove some plaque and show u how to floss their teeth he cried of course but that was expected I took him early because he still drinks from a bottle. My pediatrician did even know when he my 6yr old should of went for years he had a discolored tooth from a fall she just told me to let it fall out and by time we went to the dentist he said it was infected so they had t pull it that was horrblie for me but he took it well,
Dana - posted on 02/22/2010
My daughter 3 1/2 has been going to the dentist since she was 18 months old. She goes to a pediatric dentist. We took her in because her teeth were turning colors. Thankfully it was nothing that needed dental care. It was because of antibiotics she was on. She screamed and cried the first few times week took her. She was just in to see the dentist a couple of months ago for her first cleaning. Before that they just counted the teeth and made sure they all looked okay.
My son is going to the dentist at 13 months. A the rate he's getting teeth, he's only going to have 4 of them. He's only going in because his sister is going in for her check up at the same time.
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