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As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child’s health and well-being. That includes taking them to the dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. 

An estimated 86% of youths between the ages of 2 and 17 have visited their local dentist in the last year. Does that mean that you don’t need to worry about taking your little one to their first dentist visit until they’re two years old?

This is a common question that we get at Brushin’ on Belmont. Dr. Bob and Dr. Monika, two of the best dentists for children in Chicago, are here to provide the best advice and information about when your child should come in for their first dentist visit.

Read on to learn about the importance of kids’ dentistry and when to bring your child in for their first visit.

How Old Is Old Enough for a Dentist Visit?

While the CDC starts tracking dental statistics around age two, the age at which you should bring your baby to the dentist for the first time precedes age two. Let’s take a look at the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatric Dentists.

When Your Baby’s First Tooth Erupts

Many babies start cutting their first teeth (often the bottom central incisors) between four and seven months of age. Once those teeth are starting to grow in, it’s a good idea to start thinking about bringing your baby to the dentist. As soon as teeth start to erupt, it’s important to learn about proper gum and tooth care for babies, which can differ slightly from gum and tooth care for older children and adults.

When Your Baby Is One Year Old

If you haven’t scheduled your baby’s first dentist visit by their first birthday, it’s time to go ahead and do so. By now, they may have several teeth growing in, and your baby will benefit from a checkup and cleaning. While a slight delay in tooth eruption is normal, if your 12-month-old has no visible teeth yet, it won’t hurt to make sure that there are no underlying issues causing this delay.

Why Start Seeing a Kids Dentist So Early?

Some parents are shocked to discover that they could start taking their baby to the dentist before their first birthday. Is it really necessary to start so early? Our two top dentists in Chicago say yes, and we’re here to explain why.

Learning About Your Baby’s Oral Health

Trying to brush those tiny teeth isn’t always easy. Parents may not know which toothbrushes, toothpaste brands, and other products are best for their infants. Your local pediatric dentist can answer all of your questions and teach you the best products and methods to use to ensure good oral health.

Checking for Signs of Tooth Decay

Believe it or not, an estimated 42% of children aged 2-11 have dental caries on their primary teeth. Tooth decay can set in within weeks of a tooth erupting and can spread at a rapid pace. Your pediatric dentist can start looking for early signs of tooth decay as soon as your baby starts cutting teeth.

Reversing Tooth Decay

Because primary teeth aren’t permanent, it might seem like a cavity or two won’t matter. The truth is that untreated tooth decay and cavities can lead to primary teeth loss well before the permanent teeth are ready to grow in. The good news is that regular dental appointments that start early in your baby’s life can reverse tooth decay and prevent this early tooth loss from occurring. 

What Can You Expect from Your First Dentist Visit?

What happens at a baby’s first dentist visit? While it might seem nerve-wracking to bring your young one in for a dentist visit, there’s nothing to worry about. Let’s take a look at what to expect.

Working With the Hygienist

First, you and your baby will work with a professional dental hygienist. At Brushin’ on Belmont, all of our hygienists are experienced with pediatric dentistry and love working with babies and children!

Your dental hygienist will examine and clean your baby’s teeth and walk you through the process of at-home oral care. They will also talk to you about your baby’s dietary needs, the importance of fluoride, and other important topics that will contribute to your baby’s oral health. 

Working With the Dentist

Next, you and your baby will work with a pediatric dentist. Once again, Dr. Bob and Dr. Monika have years of experience working with babies and children and provide some of the best pediatric dental care in Chicago!

Your dentist will perform another examination of your baby’s teeth and oral health, looking for signs of tooth decay or other issues. If there are any areas of concern, they will discuss the best next steps with you. Finally, they will answer any and all questions you have about caring for your baby’s oral health and what to expect in the coming years as the primary teeth continue to grow in and eventually get replaced with permanent teeth.

Starting this relationship early is the best choice for your child for two key reasons. The first is, of course, that early dentist visits set your child up to have good oral health. Secondly, you’re building a relationship that will continue as your child gets older, and there’s nothing better than having a great pediatric dentist to visit!

Sign Up With the Best Chicago Kids’ Dentists

If you’re ready to schedule your baby’s first dentist visit, you’re in the right place. Brushin’ on Belmont is proud to provide Chicago dental care for the whole family!

To get started, contact us today. We can’t wait to provide your family with the dental care you need!