The Importance of Early Dental Care for Kids

The Importance of Early Dental Care for Kids

TeamChildren Pediatric Dentistry

Dental care is essential for people of all ages, but early dental care for kids is especially important. Although most of the baby teeth eventually fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth, they still serve many purposes. Starting professional dental care at an early age has a wide variety of benefits. 

At What Age Should Children Start Going to the Dentist? 

Parents are often unsure about when to schedule their child’s first dental appointment. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental visit around their first birthday. By 12 months of age most babies have at least one visible tooth, which warrants an oral evaluation and cleaning. Even if your baby does  not yet have any teeth by their first birthday, it is still good to have your dentist perform an oral evaluation of the soft tissues. 

The Importance of Primary (Baby) Teeth 

Baby teeth serve a few very important purposes: 

  • Chewing capability. The primary purpose of teeth is to chew food for digestion. The baby teeth help children learn how to chew a variety of foods for well-balanced nutrition. 
  • Speech development. As children learn to talk, their teeth play an important role in proper pronunciation and speech development. 
  • Placeholder for permanent teeth. The primary teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth, preparing the way for them to come in properly. 

Benefits of Early Dental Care 

There are many benefits that come from early dental care for children, including: 

  • Improved oral health. Professional dental care promotes healthy teeth and oral tissues by removing plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease.   
  • Early detection of oral health concerns. Oral examinations detect oral health concerns at the first sign, such as gum disease or soft tissue abnormalities. Early detection leads to better treatment outcomes for patients. 
  • Helps to prevent dental anxiety. When children are introduced to the experience of going to the dentist at an early age and continue with regular dental appointments every 6 months, they are less likely to develop anxiety or fear regarding dental care. 
  • Establish good habits. Going to the dentist every 6 months and prioritizing dental care during childhood establishes good habits that can last a lifetime. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Dental Care 


Do I need to take my child to a pediatric dentist? 

A pediatric dentist specializes in dental care for children. Family dental practices offer dental care for patients of all ages, allowing everyone in the household to go to the same dental practice. 

When should my baby get their first tooth? 

The first tooth typically erupts sometime between the age of 6 months and 12 months. Some infants may get teeth sooner and others later, but most have at least one tooth by their first birthday. 

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Visit Today

As soon as your child has visible teeth or within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, they should have their first dental visit. If your baby, toddler, or preschooler has not yet had a dental cleaning and oral evaluation, don’t wait. Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.