Parents are often surprised to hear that they should start dental hygiene for their little ones in the first year. Here are answers to common questions:
When should I take my baby to the dentist for the first time?
When baby’s first tooth appears or by baby’s first birthday, whichever comes first. If you’ve missed this window, make an appointment anyway—it’s never too late to schedule your child’s first visit.
Why so early?
According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, baby teeth are a blueprint for permanent teeth, so caring for them is important. As soon as baby gets teeth, cavities can form. Be proactive in your child’s dental health and establish a “home base” for regular appointments.
What can I expect at the first visit?
The first visit familiarizes little ones with the dentist, the office and the staff. The dentist will likely examine baby’s teeth and gums and discuss age-appropriate brushing techniques and proper dental hygiene with parents. The first visit also gives parents a chance to ask questions and share concerns.
What’s the difference between a general dentist and pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists receive additional specialized training for babies, toddlers, adolescents and teens (usually 2–3 years beyond dental school). Family dentists are willing and able to treat both children and adults, but may not have the additional training. It’s a good question to ask.
It’s up to parents to establish healthy oral care habits at a young age. Learn more at www.mychildrensteeth.org or reach out to one of the local pediatric dentists below.
Pediatric Dentists in San Diego County
The Super Dentists
Six San Diego County locations
Children’s Primary Dental
San Marcos, Chula Vista, Otay Lakes
Great Smiles Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Solana Beach, Carlsbad
Tom Keller Pediatric Dentistry