Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, July 19, 2010

When should I take my child to the dentist?

I have received this question a few times from concerned parents, so I thought I would share with all of you.

The simple answer:

Ask your dentist and your pediatrician what they believe would be best.

***The American Academy of Pediatrics and most dentists suggest that you bring your child to a dentist around the time he turns 1. If your child is over 1 and still has not had a dental checkup, consider making an appointment soon, especially if you notice signs of tooth decay (babycenter.com)

***However, some dentists and pediatricians say that parents should take their toddlers to the dentist whenever they can open their mouths and keep them open on their own. Some dentists also will ask you to not bring you child in until he or she is 3 or 4.

Also, here are a couple tips on what to do:

"Even before your baby sports that first tooth, it's a good idea to get into the habit of wiping his gums with gauze or a wet washcloth at least twice a day.


As soon as your child's willing and able, encourage him to brush his own teeth. He probably won't be able to do a thorough job until he's school age, so brush your teeth together and then "check" each other's teeth to see if they're clean" (Babycenter.com).

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