Most children don’t go to the dentist for the first time until they’re two and a half years old. To some parents, this number might sound a little young. After all, if a child is still losing their “baby” teeth (also called primary teeth), do they really need to go to the dentist? The teeth are going to fall out anyway. Why do they need to be examined?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children go to the dentist for the first time when they’re one year old (or six months after their first baby tooth erupts). At Stanley Dentistry, we follow these guidelines with all of our pediatric patients, scheduling them to come in as early as possible.
The primary teeth are a good indicator of the child’s future dental health. Bringing your child in early allows the dentist to be aware of certain things that could prove problematic as the child’s permanent teeth grow in. Plus, creating a good relationship between your dentist and your child will yield better oral health for your child as they mature.
Since kids lose their primary teeth, why is it important for the dentist to clean them? Although primary teeth aren’t there to stay, they naturally fall out when they’re ready. If a baby tooth is damaged or falls out because of poor hygiene, the child’s permanent teeth could grow in improperly.
Primary teeth give the permanent teeth a guide. When a baby tooth falls out, it’s because the permanent tooth knows where it needs to go. In a short time, the permanent tooth erupts, taking the place of the lost primary tooth. If the primary tooth falls out unnaturally (before the permanent tooth was ready to erupt), the child’s permanent teeth may struggle to come in straight.
Coming to the dentist regularly will ensure that your child’s primary teeth are healthy and clean. If your child does lose a primary tooth due to an accident, bring them in so the doctors can keep a close eye on the corresponding permanent tooth.