Don’t Wait: Parents Aren’t Taking Kids For First Dental Visit Early Enough

Most parents know how important it is for kids to see a pediatrician often. Likewise, they know it’s important for kids to see a dentist regularly. But according to a recent study, many people are waiting too long to bring their kids to the dentist for the first time. It’s no small matter, and can lead to bad things for our kids’ teeth and overall health.

In a survey of 790 parents of children aged zero to 5 years old, parents were asked at what age they felt children should be taken to the dentist for the first time. 48 percent opined that children should start seeing the dentist at roughly 2 or 3. Approximately 17 percent felt kids should wait until around 4 years of age for their first dental visit. Most worryingly, only 35 percent of parents got it right: parents should take kids to the dentist by age 1.

Apparently, a lot of this has to do with where parents are getting their information about proper dental care. The study showed less than 50 percent of the parents surveyed received advice from their pediatrician about their kids’ dental care. Instead, they often tended to draw on personal experience, or rely on the advice of friends and family.

Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children see the dentist for the first time sometime around their first birthday. There are some parents who follow this advice, but the majority fail to do so. Of course, baby teeth aren’t meant to last forever, but neglect can result in painful and unnecessary problems for toddlers. And good habits need to be formed early, so kids can know what to do once they have developed permanent teeth.

So if you’re a new parent, make your appointment now, and take a proactive step for your child’s health. See you soon!