It can be tricky to figure out when your child’s first trip to the dentist should be.

Most parents come to a point where they find themselves asking, “When should the first trip be?” and “How often should my child see the dentist?”

As new parents, these questions are very important to ask and we are here to answer them for you. We want to make the first trip a successful one, so keep reading to find out how often your child should see the dentist.

Let’s first address a very important question: When should your child first go to the dentist?

When Should Your Child First Go to the Dentist?

Most first visits begin at around age 2. This first visit is mostly to get your child used to see the dentist, looking at all the tools they use, and getting used to sitting in a dentist’s chair.

At age 4 or 5, however, the dentist visit will be more thorough. This age is when most dentists will take the first set of X rays of your child’s teeth. This is to make sure that no cavities have formed during their essential first years of life.

It is important that during this visit the dentist reviews proper teeth brushing with you. It is important you teach your child the importance as well.

You can also make teeth brushing fun by singing songs or getting your child a toothbrush (or toothpaste) with their favorite characters on it.

Once the first visit and set of X rays have been taken, we can now discuss how often your child should see the dentist.

Let’s look more closely at ages and how often dentists’ visits should be made.

Ages 6-12

These are very important years for your child’s teeth. During these years, it is important to continue with regular brushing and flossing. This is the normal time for your child to get cavities.

Many dentists will put a special sealant over your child’s molars at this age.  Molars can be extremely hard to reach with regular brushing. This sealant helps to protect the permanent molars from cavities.

it is important to note that during these years, many dentists encourage parents to make an orthodontist appointment. This is to help identify any issues in a growing jaw that may cause crooked teeth later in life.

Ages 12-18

Cavities may have been a thing of the past, or so you thought.

But during the teenage years and early adulthood is another time when cavities can occur. And, if not taken cafe of early on, can create bigger problems as they get older.

It is during these ages that it is encouraged to make a regular, back to school dentist appointment for your child.

How Often Should My Child See the Dentist?

It is recommended to see the dentist once a year, however for different ages and needs, your child might need to go more or less often.

Once their first set of Xrays have been taken, the dentist visits will be more prevention-based. This prevention is against cavities and is very important as your child grows.

The prevention of cavities starts at home. Which is why it is important to have good at-home habits.

Tips for Good at Home Habits

Being responsible for taking your child to the dentist is one thing, but what you do in between those appointments is much more important.

Creating good, at-home habits in teeth cleaning will help make visits less frequent, and successful. Which is why we have included some of our favorite tips to use at home.

1. Get an Electric Toothbrush

A standard brush can do a great job on its own, but perhaps investing in an electric toothbrush can help create more interest for your child and make toothbrushing fun.

Many electric toothbrushes come with built-in timers as well, making it easy for your child to know how long to brush.

However, the electric toothbrush won’t do ALL the work. This is why it’s important to still review proper brushing techniques to get all their teeth and to prevent cavities.

2. Make It a Positive Habit

Making toothbrushing something positive. especially with younger children is important.

Sing toothbrushing songs with your little one, make a game out of it, get fun flavored toothpaste. Whatever it is that will make your child want to brush their teeth will help make this a regular habit as they get older.

3. Eat Well

The top way to prevent cavities is to eat well at home.

Nutrition is key to making sure your child stays healthy and grows strong, healthy teeth.

Making sure that they eat well, and when they do eat candy, to brush their teeth afterward.

This healthy eating will help keep everyone happy, your dentist included!

Does My Child Need Braces?

This is a question many parents are concerned about.

As mentioned above, many dentists will encourage an appointment with an orthodontist between ages 6-12. This appointment helps get a better understanding of how your child’s jaw is built, and how that can affect their teeth later on.

The orthodontist will look at how your child’s teeth are growing in if there is an overbite or underbite.

When to start? Braces can only be put on after a number of adult teeth have grown in. The exact age can be different for each child and their needs.

Caring for your children is such an important task. Let us help you care for their smile!

To find out about how often should my child see the dentist, and how we make every dentist visit a positive one, check out our blog to find out more!