How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Do you brush or scrub your child’s teeth daily?
- Do you periodically monitor their teeth for cavities to make sure there’s no stains on their teeth?
- Are you diluting and taking them off juices and milk gradually?
- Do you not allow them to eat too much candies, chocolate, sweets, juices and sodas?
- Is this NOT your first child? “no” means it is your first.
- If you have other children, did they NOT develop any cavities until they were older?
- Is your child healthy with no diagnosed major medical problems?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you are probably fine waiting a bit longer to take your child in for their first visit. If you’re a first time mom you probably should take your child for an early wellness exam to make sure you’re not making any mistakes regarding their oral hygiene and dietary habits. But if you are an experienced mom, the ones who know when they need braces, when their adult teeth will come out, when they have to remove their wisdom teeth, etc. then you can probably wait until your child is a bit older before you take him or her to the dentist for their first visit provided they your not spoiling them and allowing them to consume too many sodas and sweets!
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you probably should take your child in for a checkup when they are still very young to make sure there are no unpredictable problems or cavities hiding on you.
We think an early consultation is usually worth the effort especially if something is actually wrong. These first wellness visits are typically short and inexpensive and could be quite beneficial. And you just never know what a trained dentist can detect that might’ve gone unnoticed to you. He or she may find a cavity or an early developmental problem. They could advise you to correct their oral hygiene routine if they are building up too much plaque on their teeth. They may instruct you on improving their diet. They can review any oral hygiene products you are using for them. And if nothing else, having an early checkup visit and developing the good habit of going regularly to the dentist can slowly build your child’s ability to cope with going to the dentist.
helpful hint – If your child is scared and refuses to go to the dentist you may end up finding yourself rescheduling and postponing their first visit. How they behave at the doctors office may be a good indicator of how they’ll do at the dentist. So if this applies to you, we do not recommend postponing their visit but it may be wise to research your local dentists to find one that can handle more challenging children. You may want to consider taking them to a child friendly pediatric dentist over a regular dentist as they are probably better suited to manage them. Most general dentists refuse to treat uncooperative children and refer them out regularly so why put your child through a bad experience before doing so!