How often should a child see a dentist and how do you know if your pediatric dentist is looking out for you and your child? Believe us, we understand where you’re coming from.
One thing’s for sure, though: you should never wait until it’s too late for preventative dental care. If your child’s first trip to the dentist office is to take care of a dental emergency, you definitely waited too long!
To determine the best course of action for your child’s dental care, the better question is: how often should I take my child to the dentist? There are no rock-solid benchmarks for recommended dentist visit frequencies, but it’s always best to err on the side of better dental health – in other words, when in doubt, go ahead and schedule an appointment.
The Super Dentists, San Diego’s premier pediatric dentistry, always puts your child’s dental health first, all while making each visit totally fun and memorable. One in every five San Diego children is a Super Dentists kid – and thanks to our unique, patient-first approach, children can’t wait to visit our dental offices!
The Importance of Regular Dental Care for Children
Given the current state of pediatric dental health [CB1] in California and across the United States, it’s normal to think about when to take your child to the dentist. Consider these sobering statistics:
- The average child in America has at least one decaying tooth.
- Nearly half of U.S. children have at least one cavity – and about 20% of California youth have up to 7 cavities!
- About 20% of children have not visited a dentist within the past year.
- Dental health issues are responsible for millions of school hours missed every year.
- Children with dental problems are 3 times more likely to miss school and 4 times more likely to get below-average GPA.
Clearly, there’s work to do in improving pediatric oral health in the U.S. What’s truly alarming is that bad dental habits as children are the primary reason for cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, and other dental health problems in adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one-third of adults have untreated cavities – in other words, they’re not even aware they have cavities in the first place. Just like children, adults need to visit the dentist on a regular schedule.
How Often Should a Child Go to the Dentist? – First Visits, Frequency & More
Your child’s first dental visit should occur when their first baby teeth come in. If no teeth appear within your child’s first 12 months, schedule an appointment shortly after their first birthday. Please note that this is the latest you should visit the pediatric dentist; if other problems occur (such as tongue-ties, poor oral habits, etc), take your child to the dentist earlier.
As far as frequency, most dental professionals – including The Super Dentists – recommend children should visit the dentist at least twice per year.
But, don’t take it just from us. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child see a dentist every six months as well.
Two trips to the dentist on an annual basis help ensure:
- Teeth are aligned correctly.
- Minor issues don’t become serious oral health problems.
- Teeth are protected from cavities and decay.
- Familiarity and trust are established with their dentist – this is very important for young children.
Signs of Early Tooth Decay in Children
Oral hygiene is so important from a young age. It teaches your children how to properly take care of their teeth. Here are some things to look out for when your child’s teeth are just starting to come in:
White Spots: The appearance of chalky white spots on the teeth may indicate the beginning of tooth decay.
Tooth Sensitivity: Children experiencing pain or sensitivity when consuming hot, cold, or sugary foods and beverages may have tooth decay.
Tooth Discoloration: Discoloration or darkening of the tooth enamel could be a sign of decay.
Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath, even after brushing, can be an early indication of tooth decay.
Toothache: Unexplained toothaches or spontaneous pain in the teeth could indicate decay or cavities.
Difficulty Chewing: If your child shows signs of discomfort or difficulty while eating, it could be due to tooth decay.
Swollen Gums: Swelling or redness in the gums around a particular tooth may suggest decay or infection.
Visit The Super Dentists Today – We’re the #1 Pediatric Dental Network in San Diego!
The Super Dentists continue to reinvent and transform pediatric dental care. Rethink “traditional” trips to the dentists with our completely unique dental experiences!
Pop quiz! How often should kids go to the dentist? Has it been over six months since your child’s last appointment? If that’s the case then you’ll want to schedule a dental visit right away!
With a handful of offices in and around San Diego, we’ve made it easy to connect with our team of pediatric dental consultants. Thanks for visiting the Super Dentists – we look forward to seeing you and your child soon!