When Should I Book My Child’s First Dental Appointment?

Do you think your child needs their first dental appointment?

Many parents aren’t sure when to go to a dentist because the topic isn’t popular and they don’t receive guidance. Some believe they should visit within the child’s first year of life, others believe they should wait for a few years.

Every child needs to visit a dentist at some point because they can prevent long-term problems from occurring. Thanks to modern dental technology, we know when you should make the appointment.

Continue reading to learn when to book your child’s first appointment and the benefits of doing do.

Dental Appointment
The child holds a fallen tooth on the palm of his hand. Milk tooth on the palm. First tooth lost

Benefits of the First Dental Appointment

Going to a dentist appointment will provide your child with many benefits. This is a time for a dentist to examine your child’s teeth and bone structure to look for any problems.

Cavities and Crooked Teeth

The dentist can look for tooth decay and crooked teeth, both of which are troublesome for adults, and can treat them while your child is young.

Children grow “baby teeth,” which then fall out. Once they fall out, a new set of teeth starts to grow. When a child’s baby teeth have cavities, their eating habits or hygiene can be changed to prevent them from occurring in their adult teeth.

It’s much easier for a dentist to detect the cavities because they have tools to closely examine teeth, and they know what cavity discoloration looks like.

When a child’s adult teeth start growing, there’s a possibility that they can grow crooked. This can cause pain because the crooked teeth will create an uneven bite, putting a strain on the jaw.

Aside from pain, crooked teeth can cause hygiene to become an issue. Overlapping teeth will prevent a toothbrush from fully cleaning a tooth, potentially leading to cavities.

Children with crooked teeth can receive braces while they’re young to straighten their teeth and correct their bite.

Getting Used to the Dentist

Going to the dentist can be scary for many people, both children and adults, because of the large machinery and tools. If you take your child to the dentist, it will eliminate the fear that they once had.

Try to find a family dentist that you can continue visiting. As your child visits the dentist more often, they’ll get used to the environment and lose their fright. Having the same person each time will help them feel comfortable, too.

Dentist Cost

While many parents aren’t sure when to book an appointment, some don’t want to because they are afraid of the cost. Avoiding an appointment will set your child up for many potential problems, so it’s best to spend the money.

Today, many dental insurance companies that will aid families with costs. They usually cover appointment fees and other medical costs depending on the situation.

If a dentist concludes that your child should receive braces, dental insurance will most likely cover the cost of them or pay a portion. Dental insurance is important because it will allow you to save money on medical costs and keep your child healthy.

Without dental insurance, you can expect to pay more for an appointment. Dentists are highly-trained professionals and earn a lot of money, which then makes medical costs high.

For the first appointment, your child will be examined by the dentist and have their teeth cleaned. Unlike a toothbrush at home, a dentist will use special tools to thoroughly clean the teeth.

The average costs for the exam and cleaning together can run you around $75 to $200, depending on where you go. Make sure you research several kids dentist offices near you and compare the prices to find the best rate.

When You Should Book It

This is a question that has a variety of answers depending on who it’s coming from. Most of the answers are based on what people feel is best, but the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry have some reasons for their answer.

The AAPD suggests that children should visit a dentist the first time that a tooth appears. This is because the tooth can suffer from decay since it’s exposed to food and bacteria.

For most children, their first tooth will appear during their first year of life. This is a good thing because it makes it easier for your child to have the visit. Rather than being afraid, your baby will be too young to think anything of it.

When visiting the dentist, you can watch the dentist guide fluoride to your baby’s teeth to strengthen them against bacteria. They will also give you advice on how to clean their teeth and avoid cavities.

If you wait a few years to take them to the dentist, your child may have already developed cavities. If not treated properly, they can lead to mouth diseases and the need to get fillings, both of which aren’t fun for children.

If You Still Haven’t, Schedule the Appointment Now

Money and time can be an issue when it comes to taking care of medical necessities, but it’s your responsibility as a parent to keep your child healthy.

By visiting the dentist when their teeth begin to appear, you will save yourself money in the long run and prevent your child from developing issues that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

If you have a young child that already has teeth but hasn’t visited the dentist, go and book their first dental appointment today.

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