When Should my Child Start Seeing a Dentist

  • By Lyons Dentist
  • July 12, 2019
  • When Should my Child Start Seeing a Dentist?

    As parents, the health and safety of our children is the largest concern that we will have. While it may be easy to know when to take your child to the doctor, but many parents have a more difficult time deciding to schedule their first dental appointment. At Inman and Lyons Dental Care, we believe that it is our responsibility to remove hurdles to ensuring a healthy smile for your whole family, including the newest additions to your family.


    Understanding the Growth of Teeth

    The baby teeth or primary teeth are the first teeth that grow for our children. While these teeth are deciduous, or not permanent, they perform an incredibly important role in the growth and development of your child physically and can also help to cement solid dental care into their future. Teeth first form within the bone and then begin to push upward and through the gums as they grow. When babies are first born, they already have somewhere around 20 teeth that have formed within the bone underneath the gums.

    The two front teeth on the top and bottom generally erupt or break through the gums between six and twelve months of age. By age three, these children generally have 20 teeth that have formed and erupted.


    Risks to the Teeth

    As soon as your child’s teeth erupt through the gums, they can be at risk for tooth decay. At this age, children are not used to having their teeth brushed, and a parent’s role in keeping their teeth healthy and strong is critical. Establishing a regular dental routine at this age is very important.

    However, many parents believe that because these teeth are only temporary, that their care is not very important. Severe dental or oral disease can have an effect on their ability to form and grow permanent teeth and can have a detrimental side to their overall health. Studies also suggest that children who don’t develop good early habits will are less likely to regularly visit the dentist when they are older and have an increased rate of oral diseases and permanent tooth loss in their adulthood.


    Scheduling the First Appointment

    The American Dental Association or ADA suggests that children should visit the dentist less than six months after their first tooth erupts, but not to wait for their first birthday. Scheduling these appointments is generally a good idea because there aren’t usually dental issues this early. This can help to give your child a positive impression of the dentist and make sure that they enjoy coming into the office.

    Additionally, the first dental appointments are useful to discuss proper habits that may be specific to your child or your area. Meeting with your local dentist can help by discussing methods of delivering fluoride to your children’s teeth. Some municipalities place fluoride in the water supply, so just drinking water can help. At Inman and Lyons Dental Care, we also ensure to give your child fluoride treatments when they come in for their regular checkups.

    We will also discuss your child’s diet and what they are drinking. While juices and soda can be highly detrimental to their teeth, water, and even milk do not promote the same amount of tooth decay. We can also place sealants to help further protect your child’s mouth from cavities or decay.


    Understanding the importance of early dental checkups can help promote a lifetime of good oral health for your child. If you are thinking of scheduling your child’s first dental appointment, call Inman and Lyons Dental Care today. Our friendly staff can talk to you about your concerns and let you know more about what to expect during the first appointment.