Well before your child’s first set of teeth begin to erupt, you might want to think about scheduling a visit with a pediatric dentist. Even though your child is going to lose their first set of teeth, developing good oral health habits is going to be absolutely vital as they grow older. Here is a quick glimpse at a few of the key services that a pediatric dentist can help you with and some signs that it is time for you to schedule your first dental checkup for your child and help answer the question “when should my child first visit a dentist?”

Your Child’s First Appointment

Every case is slightly different, but most dentists agree that children should have at least one dental checkup by their first birthday. You will also need to schedule a checkup as soon as you notice any teeth erupting in your child’s mouth. That initial checkup will most likely be very quick, but the dentist will need to take a close look at your child’s gums and teeth to make sure that there are no health issues. They can also check for any other signs that your child might need corrective treatments in the future. Catching the early warning signs of common oral health problems will make those issues much easier to treat down the line. 

Preventative and General Dentistry Services

Determining when should my child first visit a dentist, simply book a general dentistry checkup every year or two will greatly reduce your child’s risk of oral health problems. During those checkups, the dentist will take a close look at their gums to see if there are any early warning signs of gum disease. They can also inspect the initial set of teeth for any signs of cavities or other forms of decay that might impact their oral health. While those types of issues are fairly common, they are typically easy to treat as long as they are caught in the earliest stages. Those first few appointments will also give you the opportunity to learn more about what steps you can take to protect your child’s smile. 

What to Do If Damage Is Found

No matter what steps you take to improve your child’s oral health, they are probably going to run into at least a few problems over the years. One of the most common forms of damage is tooth decay, and that issue usually occurs when the teeth aren’t properly cleaned and too much food debris has been left on them. Over time, all of the bacteria that is in the mouth will use that food as a source of energy and then begin attacking enamel on the teeth. Unfortunately, children have much less enamel on their teeth, and decay can quickly result in chronic discomfort. 

The ideal treatment option for tooth decay depends on a few different factors, and that includes how much damage has taken place. For minor decay, dentists will usually suggest dental bonding that covers the damage. Once the decay has spread, the tooth might need to be completely removed. Dental bonding can almost always be done with a strong anesthetic, and that means your child won’t feel any discomfort throughout the procedure. 

Scheduling Your Child’s First Appointment

When it comes to your child’s oral health, you should always err on the side of caution. Preventative dentistry services are more effective than ever, and those simple treatments will greatly their risk of major problems later on. The pediatric dentist can also help you come up with a long-term oral health plan that ensures your child will have a bright, healthy, and beautiful smile for many years to come.