Do you know what the recommended age for a child’s first dental checkup should be? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says that children should visit the dentist by the time they are 1 year old, or within 6 months of their first baby tooth erupting if that happens sooner. However, on average most children don’t have their first checkup until they are 2.5 years old—a far later age than is ideal.
It’s understandable why this happens. A newborn baby requires a lot of care and has added responsibilities for the parents to consider. Oral health may not be the first thing on a parents’ mind, especially when their first baby teeth have yet to make an appearance.
This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to put off taking your little one to the dentist. Your child’s dental health is important to keep on your radar, even at such an early age, as it affects their development. Keep reading to learn more about the role of baby teeth and how to find a good family dentist when the time comes.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth may be temporary, but they are anything but insignificant. You will want to make sure your child’s baby teeth remain healthy and stay put until they fall out naturally. Healthy baby teeth benefit your child in many ways including:
- Improving speech development
- Leaving room for adult teeth to grow in
- Making sure adult teeth grow in with proper alignment
- Promoting proper chewing, which helps with their nutrition
How to Pick a Family Dentist
Now that you know why it’s so crucial to take your child to the dentist sooner rather than later, you may be wondering how to find a dentist that suits you and your busy family’s needs. Your main goal should be finding an office that makes the process easier so you’re more likely to keep up with appointments.
Some features like block scheduling and an in-house orthodontist can make your dental experience that much simpler.
Block Scheduling: It can be hard to keep track of all your calendar reminders and who’s doing what when. Block scheduling eliminates some of those reminders by taking care of everyone’s checkups all in one session. This allows all the babies, toddlers, teenagers and adults in your household to receive the care they need without stressing you, the parent, out.
In-Office Orthodontist: You may not be thinking about it when they’re 1 or 2 years old, but children should receive their first orthodontist evaluation by the time they turn 7. By choosing a dentist office that offers both general and orthodontic dentistry, you can lower you and your child’s future stress by being able to make an orthodontic appointment at the same office that is already familiar.
At Lone Tree Modern Dental & Orthodontics, we have both a general dentist and orthodontist on staff in our kid-friendly office. We also offer block scheduling and convenient online scheduling to accommodate your needs!