Surveys have shown that most kids in the U.S. don’t have their first dental visit until well after the age of two. On average, children are close to three years old before their initial visit. This is far later than recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). The AAPD and ADA both recommend that children be examined by a dentist by age one, or soon after the first tooth erupts.
Children who don’t visit a dentist regularly or have never had an oral exam may be thought to be too young, or don’t have enough teeth to warrant a visit to the dentist yet. But, dental care should start early to monitor the growth of their baby and eventually permanent adult teeth.
Baby, or primary, teeth are in use until they are pushed out by adult teeth. Baby teeth are important for a variety of reasons:
Toddlers who are introduced to their dental care professional for the first time after or before they reach a year old are likely too young to feel anxiety. However, if you wait and bring an older child of two or older, there may be some nervous feelings.