When Should My Child First See a Pediatric Dentist?

When should my child first see a pediatric dentist? According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, AAPD, it’s around a child’s first birthday. More specifically, it’s when a child’s first tooth appears.

When choosing a dentist for young kids, a pediatric dentist is preferable because they have years of specialty training following dental school.

Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

At Smiles in Framingham, we are unique because Dr. Deborah Himelhoch is board-certified in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics with over 37 years of experience. This rare combination means that the whole family can get the best dental and orthodontic care in one friendly Framingham, MA location.

Why See a Pediatric Dentist So Early?

When the first tooth emerges, the chances for tooth decay begin. Smiles in Framingham make sure baby teeth stay healthy and protected. For example, pediatric patients may benefit from dental sealants that prevent food and plaque from building up on baby teeth.

The AAPD notes that baby teeth help children speak clearly as well as chew food naturally. As teeth come in, they create a position for permanent teeth to follow later. So, ensuring baby teeth are healthy has long-term benefits.

By starting early, your child will have the best chance to avoid oral health issues. Also, regular visits will help kids learn the importance of good oral health habits. So, getting started can ensure a lifetime of better health and beautiful smiles.

How Often Should Kids See Their Pediatric Dentist?

The frequency of visits depends on your child’s personal oral health. However, the AAPD suggests check-ups about every six months. With routine visits, we will prevent cavities, check on sealants, and recommend any necessary repair where needed.

We will always keep our eyes open for any potential problems during check-ups, catching them before they can worsen.

Dr. Himelhoch’s advanced training in behavioral and care needs for kids means she can assist kids with special needs. Also, we’ll help parents with recommendations for the best ways to care for kid’s oral health at home. See more here.

Keeping Kids Comfortable and Calm

Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children and love to make children feel special. Generally, kids are calm, comfortable, and confident during their visits at Smiles in Framingham. We love kids and helping them enjoy their visits as much as possible.

In cases where kids are anxious, we provide safe sedation dentistry for children from Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.

Pediatric dentists have comprehensive specialty training and can offer other sedation methods for your child. However, each child is unique, so we tailor care to each child’s unique needs. See more about Nitrous Oxide, perhaps the safest sedative in dentistry. 

When Should Kids See an Orthodontist?

As noted, Dr. Himelhoch is also a board-certified top orthodontist. So, by getting kids started at Smiles in Framingham, your child also has access to top-quality orthodontic care. 

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children visit the orthodontist no later than age 7. Thus, very young kids won’t require orthodontic care until later in life.

By age 7, the first adult molars have usually grown in, although it varies by individual. Then, Dr. Himelhoch can begin addressing any early signs of malocclusions, misaligned teeth, or jaws. Aligning the teeth and jaws is the specialty of orthodontists. Like pediatric dentistry, becoming an orthodontist requires years of additional education and training past dental school.

By getting an early start on orthodontic care, you can avoid problems chewing food, speech impediments, and TMJ jaw problems. Even better, kid’s smiles will be as beautiful as they are healthy. 

Today, Smiles in Framingham is taking every precaution to keep everyone safe while providing routine dental and orthodontic care. To learn more about the steps we’re taking to keep everyone safe, please see our recent post here. 

Have questions? Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

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Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.