When should I start taking my child to the dentist?
Answer: At 12 months
The Australian Dental Association and many other Paediatric Dentistry Associations around the world all recommend the first dental visit no later than age 1. We understand that to most people, this seems way too early…but there are enough good reasons that we want to shout it from the rooftops! Take a few minutes to hear us out…
5 awesome reasons to book a visit at 12 months:
1. Kids who visit us early become great patients
So many parents tell us they had horrible experiences as a child at the dentist and don’t want this to be repeated for their child. Visiting the dentist from the age of 12 months gives multiple opportunities for fun and easy check-ups. We are consistently amazed by what our littlest patients can achieve after a few visits. No matter what your child’s future dental needs are, being comfortable at the dentist makes it easier on them, you and us.
2. Prevent decay – don’t think it can’t happen to your child!
Decay (or ‘Early Childhood Caries’) affects around 40% of children under the age of 6 years and can happen to ANY child. Every single day we see children diagnosed with decay whose parents tell us they eat healthy food and brush their teeth. There are many other risk factors that can contribute to decay. A 12-month visit gives us the opportunity to pick these up BEFORE they become a problem and to put some strategies in place.
3. Toothbrushing & Oral Hygiene
Toothbrushing needs to start twice daily when the first tooth erupts. ‘Easy!’ said everyone who hasn’t tried to brush a toddler’s teeth. We give you all the tips and tricks you need to get you through the first few years and beyond, plus advice on toothpaste choice and flossing. Early decay can start soon after the eruption of the first teeth and is almost invisible to the eye.
4. Avoid the emergency first visit
You don’t want your child’s first visit to the dentist to be an emergency. Pain from decayed and abscessed teeth is unfortunately common in children and so are dental injuries. With 1 in 3 kids suffering a dental injury to a baby tooth, it’s always a better outcome if you have a familiar place to call if this happens. Your child knows our staff, we know them and it’s the place where they’ve always come for visits.
5. Get your child started on healthy food and drinks
Decay rates are on the rise and this is largely due to frequent intake of sugars. Many foods marketed as ‘healthy’ are full of hidden sugars and really damaging to both teeth and bodies. We are especially conscious of the impact of first foods and ongoing taste preferences in toddlers.
As a parent, we understand you might be worried about how a first visit might go. Take a look at 5 Myths about the 12-Month Visit for more information.