Taking your Child to the Dentist

What age is the right age to take your child to the dentist or orthodontist? These are questions that parents often wonder. Should you wait until your child has a full set of teeth before having his teeth checked out or should it be right away? Once your child has a set routine with the dentist, at what age should he seek an orthodontic evaluation? These are all simple questions with straightforward answers, making it easy to take control of your child’s oral health.

The First Dentist Appointment

Your child should be seen by a dentist within 6 months of the eruption of his first tooth. If this does not occur by his first birthday, he should be seen anyways. This allows the dentist to ensure that there is adequate space in the child’s mouth for proper tooth development. He can also assess the mouth for any potential speech issues or serious bite issues that might hinder his ability to have adequate nutrition. Your child’s baby teeth play an important role in his overall health, which means that it is vital that he sees a dentist as early as possible to ensure optimal oral health.

The First Orthodontic Appointment

Today, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic checkup around the age of 7. This allows the orthodontist to perform a thorough evaluation of the mouth and determine if there are any potential issues that need to be addressed. If there are serious bite issues or problems that interrupt your child’s normal speech pattern, they can be addressed early on, making the treatment less invasive than if you waited until the child is older. Seeking an orthodontic evaluation early does not mean that there will be definite issues addressed right away; at the very least, it gives the orthodontist a baseline to compare any future exams to, determining if there are any issues that need to be treated at that time.