There’s nothing that will flood your heart with joy quite like seeing your baby’s sweet, small smile. As such, we know you always want to keep your little one both happy and healthy.

But when it comes to that delicate smile, you might be wondering: How early is too early to bring my child in to the dentist?

Don’t worry — you’re not alone in pondering this question as you continue to keep one step ahead of their health. Thus, we’re here to help you find out what, exactly, you’ll want to keep in mind…

Is It A Matter of Age?

“Your child’s first dental visit should take place after that first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday,” the American Dental Association (ADA) explains. “Why so early? As soon as your baby has teeth, he or she can get cavities.”

While the eruption of the first baby tooth may feel more exciting than concerning in terms of dental development, it’s imperative that your child sees a qualified professional as early as possible in order to set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

For example, “in the U.S., tooth decay affects nearly 1 in 5 children under the age of 5,” as reported by the American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), but early action can easily mitigate this.

In particular, you’ll want to bring in your young child to see a pediatric dentist if you have any concerns about…

  • Baby bottle tooth decay
  • Thumb/finger sucking
  • Teething habits
  • Pacifier habits
  • And more

Expectations and Accommodations

“The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes,” according to Stanford Children’s Health. “Depending on your child’s age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development.”

Depending on what work will be performed — such as a gentle dental cleaning — your pediatric dentist will collaborate with you on how best to accommodate your child. For example, if your child is frightened in the dentist’s chair, you may be allowed to sit in the chair with them on your lap.

That being said, what to expect is largely dependent on the individual child. In other words, you know your child best, and you are thereby the most likely to predict how they may react!

But don’t worry if it does prove a little more challenging than initially expected; pediatric dentists are trained to help children with a broad range of personality traits and behaviors, so they’ll be there to help the whole family every step of the way.

Your Preferred Pediatric Professionals

No matter the age of your child, you can rest assured their smiles are in healthy hands when you come to visit the award-winning team of board-certified pediatric dentists here at Setzer, Cochran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry!

From check-ups to cleanings and even orthodontic care, we have decades of combined experience.

So, are you ready to schedule your child with a locally-trusted dental practice? Then it’s time to contact Setzer, Cochran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry! Call us today at (904) 733-7254 to get started.