As a mother of two children, parents are always asking me when should they take their son or daughter to the dentist for the first time. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states: In order to prevent dental problems, your child should have his or her first dental check-up when their first tooth appears or by his/her first birthday. I recommend having your child come with you to one of your dental cleanings so he/she can observe your visit before coming for their own cleaning.
Why is it so important to care for your child’s teeth even though they will lose them eventually? Primary or “baby” teeth are important for your child to function normally, being able to chew and speak clearly. Also adult teeth form underneath of the baby teeth, so issues with the baby teeth can cause permanent damage to adult teeth.
Should I floss my child’s teeth? If your child’s primary teeth are close together (like my children) the answer is yes. I love using the Wild flossers by Johnson & Johnson. Many children have spacing in between their primary teeth, flossing is less important if spacing is present.
When can I stop brushing my child’s teeth? Around the age of 7 your child will have the dexterity to brush his or her own teeth. Before age 7 children are not able to brush well enough on their own.