One question often asked by new parents is, "When should I start taking my child to the dentist?" Most dentists recommend that you should begin brushing your child's teeth as soon as the first one breaks through, and they also suggest you should take your child to the dentist around the time of their first birthday; but why so soon? 

Read on to find why early childhood dental visits are so important for your child's future oral and dental health.

Monitoring tooth and jaw development

As your child grows, the bones in their face can begin to change shape, potentially affecting the healthy development of their jaw and their bite.  Early dental checks can alert your dentist to possible problems with your child's mouth, allowing them to refer you and your youngster to an orthodontist or other specialist for treatment if necessary, potentially averting major problems in the future.

Preventative dentistry

You may think that your child's baby teeth aren't important as regards their adult dental development; after all, the baby teeth fall out as the adult ones come through.  Your child's primary teeth actually influence the position of their adult teeth later in life, meaning that if a tooth is lost early, for example due to decay, this could affect the correctness of the child's bite as they grow up.

It is therefore very important that your dentist is able to check your child's primary teeth regularly and provide any necessary treatment to keep them healthy.  Your dentist will also provide you with advice on how to care for your child's teeth at home, for example flossing techniques and dealing with problems such as thumb sucking.

Your child's confidence

Many adults experience severe anxiety when it comes to visiting their dentist, leading to missed treatments and poor dental and oral health.  If your child attends the dentist from an early age, they are less likely to view their visits with trepidation and will be far more likely to continue regular attendance as adults.

Although it may seem that taking your child to the dentist regularly from as young as one year old is a little unnecessary, you can see from the points raised above that these early dental visits are very important for your kid's future dental and oral health.  For more information and advice on early childhood dental care, why not have a chat with your family dentist?