Artis Dental Centre
523 6th St tset New Westminster BC V3L 3B9 604-332-9022

facebook-square twitter-square instagram chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down x phone location share chevron-thin-right calendar left-quote right-quote black-star-glasses-png eye book-appointment-maroon-icon-(1) types-of-services-white-icon-(1) location-white-icon next2 previous2 forward3 backward2 star-full star-half
single blog hero

When Should Your Child See The Dentist?

When should your child see the dentist

As a parent, one of your many jobs is to help keep your child happy and healthy. Good oral care and good oral hygiene habits help ensure your child can eat and chew comfortably. Regular dental visits allow your child’s dentist to look for signs of trouble and address problems before they have a chance to progress.

Healthy mouths are about more than just smiles, though. Healthy teeth and gums play a vital role in the development of children’s speech patterns and facial structure. At Artis Dental Centre, we understand the importance of good oral health plays in your child’s life, which is why we offer comprehensive dental care solutions for children

Why Are Dentist Visits Important?

Though a good oral hygiene routine at home is critical, some problems require professional attention. In addition to giving your child’s teeth a good professional cleaning, your dentist can also monitor the overall health of your child’s teeth and gums, track their dental development, and ensure your child’s adult teeth are erupting as they should. They can also spot signs that may point to more serious problems, and help you teach your child about the importance of caring for our teeth and gums.

Your child’s oral health, good or bad, will have a profound influence on their quality of life. As a parent, you can work with your child’s dentist to help teach your child good oral hygiene habits, like brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dentist visits.

How Often Should My Child See the Dentist?

Parents aren’t always sure how often their child needs to see the dentist, especially if nothing is obviously wrong with their teeth and gums. 

So when should your child start visiting the dentist, and how often should those visits happen? 

Regular Dental Visits

Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends that children first visit the dentist should be within 6 months of them developing their first tooth or by the time they turn 1.

Tooth decay occurs when sugars and starches are allowed to sit on the teeth, creating an acidic compound that damages tooth enamel and causes gum inflammation and disease. As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, they are at risk for tooth decay. Both breast milk and formula contain sugar, and so do animal milk and juice. To help prevent tooth decay, you should avoid letting your child consume any of these beverages as they are falling asleep since this sugar will stay on their teeth all night. You should also avoid letting your child have unfettered access to milk, juice, formula, and breast milk, all of which should only be consumed at mealtimes. If your child is thirsty between meals, you should give them water. Some children have trouble falling asleep without a bottle. If this is the case with your child, try filling their bottle with water. If your child resists this transition, try cutting their juice or milk with water and slowly transitioning them to pure water.

You can check for signs of tooth decay (such as dull white spots or lines on the teeth) by gently pulling your child’s lips out and visually inspecting their teeth. If you notice any signs of tooth decay, you should book an appointment for your child as soon as possible.

Regular Check-Ups Every 6 Months

Once your child has had the first dental visit, the CDA recommends children visit the dentist every 6 months. During these appointments, your child’s dentist will not only check for signs of tooth decay or gum disease but also review your at-home oral hygiene routine and give your child’s teeth a professional cleaning. Depending on your child’s age, the dentist will also check to make sure their baby teeth or adult teeth are erupting correctly.

Your child’s dentist may also want to take some X-rays to check for problems below the gumline and look for decay between the teeth. X-rays also let your dentist see if teeth are coming in crooked or are crowding together, and determine if orthodontic work is required. If tooth misalignment issues are not addressed, it can cause biting and chewing problems.

Your dentist may also talk to you about fluoride. This naturally occurring mineral is found in soil, water, and food, and is frequently added to toothpaste. Fluoride can prevent tooth decay, and in some cases, even reduce mild tooth decay. However, too much fluoride can harm your child, so children under the age of 6 should have their fluoride intake carefully monitored

To help keep your child’s teeth happy and healthy, your child’s dental hygienist may also provide you with information on proper brushing and flossing techniques, the best types of toothpaste for children to use, and which foods can help your child develop healthy teeth and gums.

Your dentist may suggest treating your child’s teeth with a special dental resin, which bonds to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth and can help prevent the bacteria that cause tooth decay from getting between your child’s teeth.

Individuals who develop cavities as children are more likely to develop cavities as adults, so it’s important to teach your child good oral hygiene habits as early as possible. 

When Your Child’s Permanent Teeth Come In

When your child’s baby teeth begin falling out to make way for their permanent teeth you should book an appointment with your child’s dentist. Your dentist can monitor your child’s transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth and help make sure your child’s permanent teeth are developing and erupting as they should. 

Most children begin losing their baby teeth around 6 years old, and get the last of their permanent teeth (besides their wisdom teeth) at around 12 years old

smiling child at the dentist

Orthodontist Services

During your child’s regular appointments, your dentist will keep an eye out for signs of trouble, including tooth misalignment or bite issues. Depending on your child’s unique dental needs, their dentist may suggest orthodontics.

Orthodontics involves using specialized tools (such as braces or Invisalign) to gradually adjust the teeth, jaw, or mouth to correct bite issues or tooth alignment issues and improve oral health. Orthodontics can also help improve your child’s self-esteem by straightening their smile.

Non-Routine Dental Visits

In addition to your child’s semi-annual visits, there are other times where a trip to the dentist might be in order.

Take Your Child to the Dentist if They Are in Obvious Pain

If your child is in obvious pain and there appears to be something wrong with their mouth, teeth, tongue, or gums, you should call your child’s dentist for an emergency appointment.

You should also take your child to the dentist if they have:

  • A broken tooth.
  • Sore gums.
  • A swollen jaw. 
  • A severely damaged tooth.
  • Severe or persistent pain.
  • Painful swelling that does not go away.

Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

Here are some tips you can follow to help keep your child’s pearly whites pearly white:

  • Control the amount of sugar and starch in your child’s diet.
  • Brush your child’s teeth at least twice each day or after they eat any sticky or sugary foods.
  • Check your child’s teeth for decay at least once a month by gently lifting the top lip and then the bottom lip to examine their teeth. You are checking for white or brown stripes or spots.
  • As your child grows older, teach them why regular brushing and flossing are so important.
  • Take your child to the dentist regularly so that the dentist can track their oral health and help address problems as soon as they arise.

You may not be sure when to take your child to the dentist. We hope the points above have provided some beneficial information to help you stay on top of your child’s oral health. If you have any questions about your child’s oral health, please book an appointment with their dentist.

Visit Our Location

Artis Dental Centre – Dentist in New Westminster

Our New Westminster location is easily found on 6th Street, right next to London Drugs at Westminster Centre.

  • Monday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Thursday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Friday8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • SundayClosed
Request an Appointment

Artis Dental Centre – Dentist in New Westminster

Our New Westminster location is easily found on 6th Street, right next to London Drugs at Westminster Centre.

  • Address

  • 523 6th St
  • New Westminster, BC V3L 3B9
  • Monday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Thursday7:30 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Friday8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • SundayClosed
Request an Appointment

See Our Google Reviews

facebook twitter linkedin2 google-plus instagram pinterest youtube phone link location calendar envelope share2