February happens to be children’s dental health month; a focused time to educate parents and families on dental care for youth. Parents often wonder when they should start taking an active role in their child’s dental health, especially because young ones lose and gain teeth at such a rapid pace.  Let’s clear up some of the mysteries.

The first time a child should visit the dental office and sit in the chair should be right around 3-4 years of age.  The purpose of this is more for comfortability and familiarity with the dentist and the process.  It eliminates the fear factor kids may have about the dentist and his/her tools.  Dentists can explain the various tools they use and let kids touch and feel to engage in the event.  Parents can also model a healthy relationship with the dentist by talking about positive personal experiences and showing their children how to prioritize brushing and regular appointments.  It may even help for a parent to refer to the dentist as a “nice doctor” who wants to help take good care of them. Once the first visit is established, children should see a dentist every 6 months for exams.

Like with anything, communication is key, so talk to your child about what to expect and walk them through a normal visit or standard procedures before ever stepping foot in an office. It may also help to define some simple terms that they may hear a dentist use such as: cavity, hygienist, flossing, fluoride, plaque, pick, and x rays.

A trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded experience. We’d love to be your family dentist and help establish a positive path for many years of oral health.  As a bonus, your child may even enjoy some magic tricks from Dr. Moore on their next visit, resulting in them begging you to visit the dentist more often!