All parents and guardians are advised to ensure that young children in their care are taken to see a dentist as soon as their first teeth come through, and before their first birthday.
The advice from Public Health England is that your child should see a dentist from six months because that’s when first teeth usually come through. By the age of one, most of your baby’s front teeth should be present. It’s an opportunity for the dentist to look into his or her mouth and check that the teeth are developing as they should. We also know that 1 in 8 three year old children have visible dental decay, so we don’t want children waiting until school age for their first dental visit. Dental decay is almost always preventable and we want your child to grow up with healthy teeth that are free from decay.
The first appointment is an important one as it’s a chance to meet your dentist and their team. Hopefully your child will feel at home there and be ready to open their mouth so the dentist can do an examination, but don’t worry if that is not the case! This visit is also an opportunity for you to check what sort of toothbrush and toothpaste is right for your child and to get advice on food and drink. You can also find out if the dentist offers fluoride varnish so that when your child is a bit older, he or she can be given a protective varnish for their back teeth which helps to prevent decay.
Sometimes a child won’t open their mouth. Don’t worry. Some children take longer to adapt to new surroundings. If after some encouragement, your child keeps their teeth clamped together, there should still be time for you to chat to the dentist and get preventive advice for your child. Book to return in a few months and hopefully the dentist will have more luck in seeing into your child’s mouth!
Please click here to download the BSPD's "A practical guide to children’s teeth".