Dr. Harmeet Dhaliwal’s Dental Tips for Parents Tip #2
Start Your Kids Early
A question I often get from parents is, when should I first bring my child to the dentist? It is suggested to usually bring them once their first tooth erupts or at one year, whichever comes first. These are usually considered what we call ‘smiley’ or ‘happy’ visits. They are free at our office and are designed not only to have children get used to the sights and sounds of a dental office, but also provide an opportunity for education for parents, as well as to answer any questions they may have. We usually will recommend seeing them once a year and will determine when to convert them to formal dental exams recurring at six-month intervals, depending on their dental development – typically around three to four years old. Important to note that the earliest time for us to examine for potential dental arch growth and development issues – such as crowded teeth and jaw growth – is around the ages of four to seven. This is because early intervention strategies can sometimes help take advantage of the growth phase of your child to prevent potentially more involved orthodontic treatment later.
The only time your child might need to visit our office earlier than one year is if you notice any abnormalities on your baby’s gums, or if they require a tongue or lip tie release for breastfeeding issues – a service I am happy to provide to help Moms out in their early days with baby.
As a side note: If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, get a dental exam and cleaning done first. Make sure to take care of any fillings or other needed treatment prior as treatment can become a bit more complicated if you are already pregnant. Studies also show that poor gum health can lead to lower birth weights, not to mention a higher risk of pregnancy gingivitis and sores.