A question parents often want to know at the Expedition Pediatric Dentistry office is: how often should kids go to the dentist? Does my kid really need to see a dentist every six months?
Today, we’re talking about how often you should take your child to the dentist, recommended age of your child’s first dental visit, dental milestones, and more. So let’s explore!
VIDEO: How often should kids go to the dentist?
How often should kids go to the dentist?
Answer: Every six months.
I know – it seems like a lot, doesn’t it? I mean, even I feel like six months is a lot for most healthy adults. But when it comes to kids, six months is the way to go.
The reality is that kids’ teeth are constantly changing. Every six months, when they come in, it feels like we have a different kid in front of us. Sometimes they go from having two teeth to six teeth in just six months! In order to properly monitor growth and make sure these changes are happening smoothly and on schedule, we compare their growth from visit to visit.
We’re looking for several things when you bring your kid to the dentist. One, of course, is to check to see that we don’t have any cavities – which is really important to us! But since we’re tracking their growth and development, we also want to see if the teeth are lining up properly.
Do they fit like a puzzle together, or is something getting off track? While the most severe orthodontic problems are rare (thank goodness!), we can avoid a lot of headaches if we catch complications early.
Early intervention can get growth back on track and ensure we are reaching full growth potential throughout childhood.
We are also checking for abnormalities in the shape, size, or number of teeth. Some genetic conditions are first identified due to manifestations in the mouth. You can think of teeth as a part of your skeleton that is exposed to the world, so skeletal conditions, for example, osteogenesis imperfecta, may not be noticeable when looking at someone, but their teeth would have significant visible differences. It’s always much easier to manage a condition when it is diagnosed early.
What’s the best age for a first dental visit?
Answer: Around one year old.
The age of your kid’s first routine dental visit should be around their first birthday, or within six months of eruption of their first tooth. When we start early, we are able to familiarize kiddos with dental visits, review oral hygiene recommendations, and catch developmental problems and prepare for them. After that, you can expect to take your kid to the dentist every six months.
Dental Milestones for Children
There are a few critical milestones in a child’s dental development. This includes the stage when they still have their primary (baby) teeth, when they’re getting in their adult teeth when they’re of age for orthodontic treatment, and finally, wisdom teeth (and sometimes their removal)
This stuff is so important that we wrote a whole blog post about it. Take a look at Dental Milestones for Children here.
Every six months, when your child visits the pediatric dentist, we’re checking for cavities. We’re looking at growth. And we’re making sure they’re on track!
It’s much like the growth chart they use at the pediatrician. When we see they’re too far behind or too far ahead, it gives us an opportunity to dial in on exactly how their growth is progressing.
Expedition Pediatric Dentistry is a pediatric dentist in Bellevue, WA providing dental care for infants, children, and adolescents in Bellevue, WA. We also accommodate special needs! If you’re local, book an appointment and we can figure out the best treatment plan for your child from our office!