Here at Sunnyside Dentistry, a dentist in Clackamas, we are a unique family practice who knows the power of putting family first. We don’t look at our patients as just patients; in fact we consider you part of our family. And because of this, we get a lot of questions about family dental care.
We believe that a child’s first dental visit is one of the most essential parts of healthy development. We get asked many questions but one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our patients is, “How old should children be when they get their first dental check-up?”
Despite what you may have heard, times have changes and what we use to recommend is no longer true. Doctor Dick Hikade, use to suggest to parents that a child’s first dental visit should be at about age three. The reasons for this age number recommendation had a lot to do with the staff’s ability to be able to manage the child in the dental chair. But as the world and industry has changed, we now know this age is much later than ideal, and that a child’s first dental visit should happen much sooner.
At Sunnyside Dentistry, we prefer to see a child for his or her first dental visit as soon as teeth pop up from their gums. We noticed that the age range tends to span between six months and one year of age. Although the development from child to child varies, 9 months of age is a good average when it comes to this initial dental check-up.
Recent research shows children seen early and given easy fluoride varnish applications at an early age have significantly fewer dental cavities than those seen at a later age. Good dental habits with all family members should be encouraged as the child grows and develops, and seeing a dentist at this early stage of life can build a solid relationship and positive experiences when it comes to going to the dentist.
In addition, the doctors at Sunnyside Dentistry can an evaluate potential problems over time, such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, and pacifier use as well as assessing important developmental milestones. We also can encourage good nutrition as our patients grow and develop, helping overall well-being as well as good dental health.
The early dental exams are important for a child’s oral health development. Doctor Hikade, works on building a good relationship with his young patients in a comfortable and safe environment. Young children are introduced to the important elements of the dental office, such as the different staff members, the dentist chair, the light, sunglasses, and the tooth polisher. The staff will use this opportunity to help children feel comfortable and relaxed while visiting the dentist in order to ensure a positive experience.
This is also an ideal time to coach the parents with tooth brushing and flossing advice and to discuss good food habits.
We love seeing the kids at this early age. It is a fun appointment for both the child and the dentist and sets the stage for healthy kids! To set an appointment for your child, contact us.