Your child should start to go to the dentist by the time the first tooth appears or his first birthday, whichever comes first. How often should you go to the dentist after that first appointment? Every six months? Once a year? Ideally, you should take your child to the dentist every six months. This may sound like a lot, but frequent visits are essential to the health of your child's developing teeth.
Protect Teeth from Decay
Regular visits allow your child's dentist to detect early signs of dental disease and decay. You may take excellent care of your child's teeth but still have problems for which you cannot see symptoms. A dentist can catch these early and treat the issue before it becomes a larger problem. Although parents sometimes think that baby teeth do not require extensive care because they will eventually fall out, remember that your child's permanent teeth grow directly beneath those baby teeth. Baby teeth help to guide permanent teeth into place and play an important role in your child's long-term dental health.
Ensure That Teeth Develop Correctly
A dentist will check your child's teeth to ensure that everything is developing correctly and that missing or crooked teeth are watched. Your dentist can also spot signs of a fluoride deficiency and recommend appropriate adjustments in your child's fluoride intake or application of a topical fluoride solution. A dentist will also explain and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique to you and your child.
Build Up a Comfort Level
Bringing your child to the dentist twice a year from an early age expedites acclimation to the dental office environment. It also builds up your child's comfort and confidence levels and reduces both your and your child's anxiety and fear about the dentist, leading to stress-free visits in the future.
Bringing your child to the dentist twice a year may seem unnecessary when your child's teeth look fine, but frequent visits serve many purposes. Above all, they teach your child the importance of lifelong healthy oral care habits.