How Often Should a Child Go to the Dentist

How Often Should a Child Go to the Dentist?

TeamChildren Pediatric Dentistry

Going to the dentist should be a regular part of your child’s health routine. Oral health is closely tied to overall wellness and is often a strong indicator of general health. Preventive dentistry is designed to keep the teeth healthy and free of cavities. It also keeps the oral tissues free of gum disease. 

How often should a child go to the dentist? Here’s what pediatric dentists recommend. 

Ideal Schedule For Preventive Dental Visits 

Dentists and dental specialists have determined that the ideal schedule for preventive dental visits is every 6 months. This is the recommended schedule for the average patient. Children as well as adults should have their teeth cleaned and their oral health evaluated twice a year for optimal oral health. 

What Does Preventive Dentistry Entail? 

A preventive dental appointment will typically include the following services: 

  • Teeth cleaning. A professional teeth cleaning involves the removal of plaque and calculus from the teeth and a thorough polishing of the enamel. 
  • Oral evaluation. The teeth and mouth are examined to identify any potential health concerns, such as soft tissue abnormalities that could be signs of oral cancer. 
  • Fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments are especially important for children because their teeth are still developing. Fluoride hardens the enamel to make the teeth more resistant to decay. 
  • Oral hygiene instructions. When necessary, oral hygiene instructions may be given to help children learn to take better care of their teeth. 


Additional services may be provided as needed, such as: 

  • Dental sealants. When one or more teeth have deep grooves or crevices that put them at an increased risk of cavities, dental sealants can be applied to create a more even surface that is easier to keep clean. 

Benefits of Preventive Dental Visits 

Preventive dentistry offers many benefits, including: 

  • Reduces the frequency of cavities. Even with good oral hygiene habits cavities can still form. Regular dental appointments reduce the frequency of cavities and also detect existing cavities early for easier treatment. 
  • Reduces the risk of gum disease. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque from the teeth that causes gum disease. They also allow for early detection of gum disease so that it can be treated in the earliest, most curable stage. 
  • Dental insurance covers preventive visits. If you have dental insurance there is a good chance that preventive dental appointments are fully covered. In other cases they are covered up to a certain percentage. 
  • Preventive dentistry is affordable without insurance. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, the cost of preventive dentistry is very affordable. 
  • Saves time and money. Regular dental care can prevent the need for more complex and costly dental procedures. 
  • Preserves the natural teeth. Preventive dentistry can help children keep their natural teeth in place for the rest of their life. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventive Dentistry

Why are dental visits twice a year when doctor visits are only once a year? 

Oral health requires more maintenance than the average child’s physical health. Once they are over the age of 2 and don’t require as many immunizations, well visits are only necessary once a year. But dental visits are still needed twice a year to control plaque and keep the teeth and mouth healthy. 

Are fluoride treatments necessary? 

Fluoride treatments are highly recommended, especially for children. As the teeth develop and erupt through the gums, the enamel starts out softer and hardens over time. Fluoride accelerates this hardening process, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Childhood fluoride treatments have been proven to have positive effects on lifelong dental health. 

Schedule Your Child’s Visit Today 

If it has been more than 6 months since your child’s last dental visit, or if they are at least a year old, it is time to visit us at Emerson Dental. Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.