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When it comes to a lifetime of oral health, the early stages are very important. Early child dental care is an absolute must if you want your kids to have healthy teeth and gums throughout their lives, and it starts with the initial visit to a pediatric dentist.

At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help with this. We have numerous resources available for your child’s first visit to our office; from the timing to the things you should be thinking about before and after. In part one of this two-part blog, we’ll go over some of the timing details surrounding your child’s first visit to the dentist.

Baby Teeth and Development

The American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that your first dental visit for your child occurs either at the appearance of their first tooth or at their first birthday – whichever comes first. This is known as a “well-baby checkup,” and it’s important for a few reasons.

For one, it helps promote strong tooth development. Baby teeth generally begin to appear when the child is about six months old, with central teeth emerging into view by eight to twelve months in most cases. Molars generally won’t begin coming in until a year or even two years in, but it’s very important to begin your dental relationship with a pediatric dentist at the first sign of teeth.

Decay Risks

One of the primary reasons the above is true is due to the risk of decay in baby teeth, which become susceptible to decay as soon as they appear in the mouth. Babies drink a significant amount of sugar through breast milk, formula, and various juices.  The acids & sugar in these liquids can attack the teeth and contribute to tooth decay.  In addition to brushing & flossing, your child’s dentist can give you tips and advice on how to avoid this (we’ll also go over some of these in part two of this blog).

Habits and Products

The first visit to your child’s dentist isn’t just for them – it’s also beneficial for you as a parent. Your dentist can show you basic tips on cleaning your child’s teeth, feeding them, various oral habits, and even the right kinds of products to purchase for your child. They can ensure appropriate care is being met, as well as answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health.

Creating a Foundation

In general, making an early visit to a pediatric dentist with your child sets a foundation for good oral health for the future. Your child will become more comfortable with the doctor and the office, which can make regularly, scheduled visits easier.  Your dentist will also become more familiar with your child and their oral health needs.

In part two of this blog, we’ll discuss some specific tips for your child’s first visit and a few other early oral care tips. To learn more about this or any of our child dental services, speak to one of the doctors at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry today.