When to Start Taking Kids to the Dentist
Children should visit the dentist when they are two to three years old. At Klement Family Dental, we do a complimentary Happy Visit for young children before their 3rd birthday. During this visit, we introduce them to the office and lean them back in the chair so we can look at their teeth. If a child is receptive, we’ll quickly polish their teeth.
Our goal is mainly to make it fun and teach kids that they can have a great time visiting the dentist. You may also want to consider bringing your 2 year old child with you to your next cleaning, so they can see how easy and fun the appointment is.
What Happens During the First Visit?
The first visit usually serves as a time for your child to see the office, meet the staff and sit in the dentist chair. You’ll have a chance to ask questions and learn more about our practice.
Depending on your child’s age and requirements, we will conduct:
- A comprehensive exam of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums and tissues,
- A gentle yet thorough cleaning. Plaque, tarter and stains will be removed,
- Possibly x-rays,
- An explanation of good home cleaning techniques,
- An assessment of fluoride needs.
How Often Should My Child See a Dentist?
Just like adults, children need an exam and cleaning twice a year or every six months. We usually suggest children come more often if they are very anxious about dental appointments. We want children to be comfortable in our office and think repeat visits will help them grow accustomed to dental care. Additionally, if we notice a developing situation, we might recommend coming more often so we can monitor the child’s dental health.
How Should I Care for My Child’s Teeth at Home?
From day one, you should begin cleaning your child’s mouth and gums. Continue to do so until your child is old enough to responsibly do it independently. The following will help you keep your child’s mouth healthy:
- Use a damp cloth to clean infants’ gums after feedings.
- Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. Use a small, soft-bristled brush and water.
- Avoid excessive sucking on pacifiers, fingers or thumbs.
- Don’t give your child a bottle of milk or juice at naptime or bedtime.
- Help you child brush well at bedtime. Teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities at night. Allow your child to brush independently to practice but follow up to ensure all the plaque is removed. Most children can start brushing without assistance by age 5 or 6.
We want your child’s experience at Klement Family Dental to be a positive, pleasant experience that sets the tone for future visits. If you have questions about your child’s oral care, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And please read how you can instill healthy dental habits in your children.