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At what age should kids go to a dentist?

Parents in Toronto often ask us what age they should bring their child to see a dentist. The first deciduous or baby tooth erupts at the age of about 6 months & the first visit of your child to a pediatrician for dental reasons, should be after 6 months of his first tooth eruption, from age 1-3 yrs.

Yonge and Eglinton Dentist

Prepare your child for their first dental visit
Prepare the child by informing them of what to expect & how it is beneficial to their health. Ease their fear and anxiety. Avoid using any statements or words like drills, injection, pulling out teeth, etc.
Most dentists in Toronto allow parents to accompany their children inside the room, as the kids are not yet mature enough to get treatment done & be separated from a parent for that duration at the same time.

What happens at your child's first dental visit?
A dental office can be intimidating for a child. This visit is to familiarize the child with the dentist and the surroundings, building up a trusting relationship between the two is paramount, so that the child is confident and at ease for his future dental visits. This visit lasts for 30-45 minutes.

Why is the first dental visit of your child important?
The dentist will examine your child’s mouth for:

  • Decay - Early childhood decay is the most prevalent yet preventable childhood chronic disease
  • Baby bottle caries- If the baby is bottle feeding, there is a chance of baby-bottle decay if they sleep directly after taking the sweetened milk, juice or any other sugar-containing liquid at night, without brushing their teeth
  • Look out for brown, chalky stains & enamel opacities
  • Stained grooves & fissures
  • Check the need for Fluoride Checking the gums
  • Developmental defects (hypo mineralized or hypoplasia enamel)
  • Assessing the face, bite, soft tissues & jaws for any developmental issues
  • Look out for any thumbsucking, tongue thrusting habits, or if the child uses a pacifier
In this appointment, you should discuss oral care habits along with snacking habits, developmental milestones & any other future dental concerns you might have or are unclear about.

The take-home message
Start brushing your child's teeth as soon as the eruption of the first tooth. This will instill a regular brushing habit in them. Supervise them while they are brushing to avoid ingestion.
Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush.
Brush your kid's teeth, tongue & gums for 2 minutes, twice a day, most importantly, before bedtime.

At 2000 Yonge Dental in Toronto, we see a lot of parents bring their young children for their first dental checkup. Book an appointment for your child's first dental visit by calling us at  (416) 807-2000.

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