Taking your children to the dentist

When should children first visit the dentist?

Introducing children to a good oral health routine is vital for the long term wellbeing of their teeth and gums, and can help to prevent dental problems in the future. Part of this routine should be visiting a dental practice, helping children to establish a good relationship with their dental team.

A recent ‘Consumer Attitudes Towards Dentistry’ survey conducted by dental payment plan provider Denplan* and YouGov revealed that 79% of parents don’t take their children to the dentist within the recommended time frame**, suggesting that many people are confused about at what age children should begin going for appointments.

Ideally, children should begin to see their dental team as soon as their first tooth appears. The average age at which this happens is around six months, though it can vary in different children. Despite baby teeth being a child’s first set of teeth, their development and importance should not be overlooked, and brushing with baby-specific toothbrushes using a small smear of fluoride containing toothpaste should begin as soon as these teeth appear.

Most dentists will be happy to see your child as soon as they get their first tooth, however, if you have any concerns about when to take your child for their first dental appointment, give your dental team a call for some more advice.

*Please note, as of February 2017, Denplan have rebranded as Simplyhealth Professionals.

** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4116 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th and 23rd January 2013.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Published: April 29th, 2013

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It's important for children to establish a good relationship with their dental team