A common question we get from parents is when they should schedule their child’s first dentist appointment. Your child should go to the dentist by the time the first tooth appears or the child’s first birthday – whichever comes first. After your kid’s first dentist appointment, aim to see a dentist every six months for regular cleanings and oral exams. Regular visits to your child’s dentist will help the dentist detect oral problems – tooth decay, need for braces, teeth crowding – and form a solution for your child’s developing teeth. Here are some of the top reasons to provide proper care for your child’s teeth. Protect Teeth from Decay Regular brushing and flossing of your child’s teeth at home is a great way to begin good oral hygiene habits, but regular dentist appointments will detect early signs of dental disease and decay. We see pediatric patients in Bridgeport, CT and can catch and treat the issue before it becomes a major problem. Although your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, they need regular dental care to help the permanent teeth grow in properly. The permanent teeth grow directly beneath the baby teeth, so dental care from the first year of your child’s life is imperative for a healthy smile. Ensure That Teeth Develop Correctly At your kid’s dentist appointment, the dentist will monitor to assure that everything is developing correctly and that crooked or missing teeth are watched. The dentist can detect fluoride deficiency, recommend the best toothpaste for kids, and suggest a topical fluoride solution if needed. The dentist can also demonstrate the proper way for your child to floss or brush. Detect Orthodontic Needs There are a number of reasons your child may need orthodontic care. Some of the main issues addressed with braces are crowding, overbite, crooked teeth, or gaps between teeth. Your child’s dentist will often be the first to notice problems that need to be addressed by an orthodontist, who is in our office and board certified! Build Up a Comfort Level Starting your child’s dentist appointments at an early age will help her avoid building a fear of the dentist office. Seeing your kid’s dentist every six months helps the dentist to build a relationship with the child, reducing fear and anxiety. What Happens During A Kid’s Dentist Visit? Your child’s dentist visit will vary depending on age, but once a child has their baby teeth, the appointment is very similar to what you experience. • Thorough Cleaning: A dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar by scraping along the gum line. The hygienist will then polish and floss your child’s teeth. • Dental Examination: The dentist will examine your child’s teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay, or other problems. • X-Rays: To get a look at what’s happening between teeth and below the gum line, your child’s dentist may request x-rays to help detect impacted teeth, abscesses and proper teeth development. Even if you think your child’s teeth look healthy, bringing him or her to the dentist twice a year serves many purposes. Most importantly, it teaches your child the importance of regular dental visits and regular brushing.