Your child grows quickly in their first years of life, and many changes occur in their mouth. They start teething, their first tooth grows in, and before you know it, they have a full set of teeth.
As the parent of a toddler with a new set of baby teeth, you may wonder when your toddler should start visiting the dentist. Pediatric dentists Staci Brunell, DMD, and Priyanka Patel, DMD, of Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry in Yorktown Heights, New York, answer this common question below.
Schedule a first visit at age 1 or after the first tooth
Our team recommends your child come in for their first visit when they’re 1 year old or when they get their first tooth, whichever comes first. If your toddler is older than 1 and hasn’t had their first visit, bring them in right away for this crucial initial tooth check-up.
A first visit takes up to 45 minutes. During the appointment, our team examines your child’s first teeth, mouth, and jaw to ensure their oral development and health are progressing as expected. We also answer any questions you have about your child’s dental health and offer advice for keeping their teeth healthy as they grow.
Schedule well-baby visits until age 2
If your toddler is under the age of 2, our providers strongly suggest they come in for regular well-baby visits. These complimentary visits help your child get comfortable with the dentist and ensure their oral health is on track from a young age.
At a well-baby visit, our team completes a full oral exam and offers recommendations for either keeping their mouth healthy or improving their oral health. You have lots of time to ask us questions about caring for your toddler’s teeth, nutrition, and oral growth and development over time.
Schedule dental cleanings after age 2
Once your toddler turns 2, they can start the same dental cleanings as older children. This is the case even if your child doesn’t have all their teeth yet.
During a dental cleaning, our team looks at your child’s teeth and may take X-rays. The oral assessment and X-rays help our team identify cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
After the exam, your child gets a thorough dental cleaning that involves taking plaque off their teeth. We then brush and polish their teeth with a special brush. The cleaning concludes with a fluoride treatment.
How often to schedule dental visits for your toddler
Once your child has had their first visit at Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry, they should usually attend either well-baby visits or dental cleanings at least every 6 months. Depending on your child’s growth and individual needs, our team sometimes recommends visits more frequently.
Additionally, you should take your toddler to the dentist if you see signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or a cavity, or if your child experiences a dental emergency. We also recommend scheduling a visit if you have any other concerns about your child’s oral health and development.
Regularly visiting the dentist from a young age gets your toddler used to the process while ensuring they start their life with the best oral health possible. Contact us today to schedule a dental visit for your toddler.