Starting off your children with the right dental habits from a young age is essential to maintaining good oral health into adulthood. Children are never too young to come to the dentist. They are not born with fear of the dentist, but they may fear the unknown. Because of this, it is important for your child to build a positive relationship with dentistry from a young age.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children visit the dentist by their first birthday. This will ensure that their newly erupted teeth receive proper care from the very beginning.
However early you choose to start exposing your child to the dentist, it is important for them to have regular cleanings, examinations, and oral habits by the time their permanent adult teeth start coming in. Our team will work with you and your child to create a calm atmosphere and positive experience regardless of how old your child is.
Children’s primary, or “baby” teeth can begin emerging as early as 6 months old. However, you may not see signs of teeth emerging until up to 12 months. New teeth will continue coming in until about age three when you should expect your child to have a full set of 20 teeth. During this time of emerging teeth, your child’s gums may feel tender. You may find that teething rings and toys can help with this discomfort. They may even favor a teether toy with a toothbrush.
Around age 6 is when you can expect the first visit from the tooth fairy. This is when children begin to lose these primary teeth and permanent teeth begin to fill their place. By the time children get their first primary tooth, it is important that they have already built health oral habits and are accustomed to visiting the dentist for consistent cleanings and exams. By the age of 13 you can expect children to have a full set of permanent teeth, with the exception of wisdom teeth which can be expected around age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or 32 when considering wisdom teeth.
Routine dental visits as your child grows are important for more than just the health of their teeth. Their dentist will also keep an eye on other factors such as the development of their facial skeleton and their airways. This is crucial in detecting sleep apnea early before it affects their brain.