At What Age Should Children Begin Receiving Routine Dental Care?

If you are a parent, it is normal to wonder when your child should receive routine dental care. You likely know that the baby teeth usually begin to erupt at six months, but do children need to brush those newly formed teeth? Are trips to the dentist necessary? Find out when your child needs to begin an oral hygiene routine and know the benefits.

Routine dental care and children

Teeth need to be brushed as soon as they first erupt. Before that, parents should clean the gums with a soft washcloth. Children need to go to the dentist within six months of the first primary tooth erupting or by the age of one. Dentists help children develop proper oral hygiene that follows them into adulthood.

Prevent tooth decay and discoloration

Baby teeth can become discolored and decayed, just like permanent teeth. Decay is problematic in baby teeth since these teeth act as placeholders for the permanent teeth. If a baby tooth becomes decayed, the child must get a filling. If the decay becomes too bad, the tooth might have to be pulled and a space maintainer put in its place. By going to the dentist regularly, children are less likely to develop decay or other dental issues.

Ensure everything is developing on schedule

The dentist examines the gums and teeth to ensure everything is developing on schedule. Proper development is necessary for speech and eating. If the dentist notices something that is impeding development, treatment might be needed. Otherwise, the child might have speech delays or speech-related problems.

Become comfortable with the dentist

Some adults have dental anxiety. This often occurs because they were not exposed to regular dental visits at a young age. When babies visit the dentist, parents can hold them during the treatment. Dentists make the process fun for young patients, and often give rewards. This helps children learn to enjoy dental visits, and that continues as they age.

Get tips for at-home care

Routine dental care needs to be practiced every day. Dentists give parents tips for children to follow at home during routine visits. These tips help keep the teeth clean between dental visits. Following these tips also helps parents prevent cavities from forming in children’s mouths.

Make oral care fun

Dentists can even recommend tips for parents to make oral hygiene fun at home. Rewards motivate young children. Parents also might use silly words when describing different dental practices to engage children. Dentists who work with children have lots of ideas to add some fun and excitement into an oral care routine.

Does your child need routine dental care?

Far too many parents put off the first trip to the dentist. Many wait until children are two years of age or older, but you need to take your child within six months of the first baby tooth erupting. The dentist will prevent dental issues and ensure that the mouth is developing on schedule. These trips will make your child comfortable at the dentist, and also provide you with information such as tips for at-home care and information you can use to make brushing fun.

Request an appointment here: https://www.oaktreefamilydental.com or call Oak Tree Dental at (703) 763-5239 for an appointment in our McLean office.

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