Parents try to protect their children from danger. They realize that at times there are certain uncomfortable situations that their children are exposed to that their children just cannot avoid. For example, a child has to go to kindergarten. No matter how much they don’t like it, the damage that comes from not going to school is worse than the temporary uneasiness a child has on their first day at school.
This same principle applies to something like going to the dentist. Most children do not like going to the dentist. It feels uncomfortable having a stranger that close to their face. However, parents realize that the damage that comes to their child by not taking them to the dentist is worse than the temporary discomfort a child experiences during their first dental visit.
So, how old should a child be before a parent takes them to the dentist for the first time? Dr. Hogan recommends that you bring your child to his office before their first birthday.
It’s true that at this age, most children do not have all of their baby teeth. But that first dental visit is a form of education for both the child and the parent. The child learns about sitting in the dentist’s chair. They are taught from an early age that although visiting the dentist might be a little uncomfortable, it is nothing to be afraid of.
This first visit also allows Dr. Hogan the opportunity to examine the teeth that have already come in as well as look at the child’s gums. Sometimes during the initial visits, our dentist can identify circumstances that could pose a problem in the future. While it is unlikely that our dentist is going to do extensive work on a child during their first visit before they are one year of age, he will be able to lay the groundwork to help the child have healthy teeth in the future.
That first visit is also an education for parents, especially first-time parents who have very little knowledge of what baby teeth are like. They do not understand what it takes to care for their child’s teeth, and they need help learning how to encourage their child to take care of their own teeth.
After that first visit, parents are encouraged to bring their child to our office once every six months. During those first couple of years, your child is going to get their first X-rays, and they are going to get examinations for cavities.
By the time your child hits around seven years old, our dentist may recommend that you visit an orthodontist. The orthodontist can evaluate the way your child’s teeth are growing and suggest if it is a good idea to start thinking about braces.
Although the first dental visit may be slightly uncomfortable for some, it is essential, especially if parents are concerned about their child’s long-term oral health. At Implant Dentistry of Virginia, Dr. Hogan takes extra steps to ensure a comfortable experience for your child. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your little one at his office in Virginia Beach.