The age to start taking a child to a dentist is probably earlier than you think! Most American children don’t see a dentist until they are over 2 years of age, which is much older than what dental and medical professionals recommend. The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends that children visit a dentist by their first year, or within six months of their first tooth appearing.

If that sounds too early to you, you are not alone. Over 60% of parents of children who have never visited a dentist or who haven’t seen a dentist within the last 12 months say that the biggest reason is because their “child is too young” or “does not have enough teeth yet”.

Primary teeth, or “baby teeth”, begin appearing at six months of age. The AAPD states that it’s incredibly important to keep these primary teeth in place until they fall out naturally, so early dental care is very important. Baby teeth are essential to children because they:

  • Help children chew properly (essential to good nutrition)
  • Play a big role in speech development
  • Help save space in the mouth and jaw for permanent teeth
  • Promote a healthy smile that helps encourage children to feel good about themselves

Because baby teeth are so important to a child’s lifelong oral health, experts agree that the best age to start seeing a dentist is at about one year – or as soon as the first primary tooth appears. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment for your child, call our office at (562) 434-6414