by Dr. Wong
When should my child visit the dentist? This is a question I receive all the time. Traditionally, most dentists start seeing children around age three as they tend to be more co-operative in the dental environment than younger children. At the Tooth Doctors, we encourage ‘happy visits’ at a much earlier age to get the child used to the dental environment and encourage good home care. Further, most, if not all the baby teeth are in by age three and by waiting to age three dental problems including cavities go unnoticed and when found by dentists at age 3, treatment can be quite comprehensive.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that the first dental visit should be when the first tooth erupts or by age 1. At the Tooth Doctors, we recommend a ‘Happy Visit’ initially where the child gets used to the dental environment. At this ‘Happy Visit,’ the team at the Tooth Doctors attempt to have the child become comfortable in the dental environment and, if allowed, will examine the teeth. As well, home oral hygiene routines can be discussed.
By seeing children earlier than age three, I believe that we can implement a more preventative-oriented dental care for your child to prevent early dental problems. Early childhood cavities occur when multiple teeth have decay, usually due to a combination of constant feeding (bottle at night), ineffective home oral hygiene, and lack of professional dental care. The ounce of prevention by bringing your child in sooner than age 3 can result in a more pleasant dental experience for your child and possibly prevent dental fear that a majority of adult patients experience in one form or another.
Please see the CDA link found here http://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/dental_care_children/first_visit.asp