36 answers

Do You Take Your Toddlers, Preschoolers to the Dentist?

My dad (aka grandpa) laughed at the idea that I take my kids to the dentist. They are 4 and 2 years old. He says it's just a way for the dentist and/or insurance companies to make money. "Kids that age can't have dirty teeth." I do things by the book...and my baby books say take kids to the dentist starting at 2.

What do you do?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks Mamas for reassuring me that I'm not an overzealous mother, who's the only one taking their kids to the dentist. I agree with nearly all the responses, that since I've been taking my children (DD #1 just had her 5th cleaning!) they do love the dentist (esp. the stickers they get there!). And they're eager to show the dentist their clean teeth. Thanks again and glad we're in on it together to develop healthy habits for these future generations!

Featured Answers

yep. when my daughter had her first appt around 3y she had 2 cavities.
my niece at 3y had 3 cavities and needed a root canal. :(

It all depends on genes, diets and nightly routines.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes. Never hold down a child to brush their teeth. It's guaranteed to make them hate brushing their teeth. And it undermines the parent-child relationship. So I really don't like the idea many dentists suggest, that two adults work together to lie the child down and hold his hands while the other person brushes his teeth. Imagine if someone did this to you. How could it not be traumatizing?

1 mom found this helpful

I take them for my visits even before they are two so that they just get used to the idea of going to that office. I was always deathly afraid of the dentist and my teeth are horrible. I rarely had a visit that wasn't painful. I don't want that for my kids. I am fortunate enough that one of my really good friends is a dentist. When my kids are very little they sit on my lap as I get my teeth cleaned and my friend counts their teeth. When they are old enough they get to sit in the dentist chair by themselves. They have all been excited to sit in Dr. Peggy's dentist chair. For me it is totally worth it!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

several people start at the sight of the first tooth... nothing wrong with trying to keep ur babies healthy! now a days the dentist is recommended... part of school physicals... when i was a kid it wasnt mandatory im 29 and two years ago was the first time i ever went to the dentist <~~ so ashamed... but this is because i never went as a kid and i was terrified...of the unknown...... needless to say my first visit was for a severely infected tooth so bad the infection could have killed me because it made it to my blood stream... tho i take care of my teeth i have a genetic jaw disorder that adds pressure to teeth in areas there shouldnt be causing them to crack... had i gone as a kid? they would have corrected it now it's too late... TAKE YOU BABIES! you dad is just stuck in his ways and thats ok because thats how things was done back when... they're your babies you're choice and you do whats best for you and your family...

kimmie

4 moms found this helpful

Kids really should go to the dentist as soon as they are old enough to sit and listen to what the doc is telling them to do. That way the dentist can do some X-rays to see what's going on with their mouths and make sure all is coming in right.

Ours went at 20 months and the other at 3 years of age. They go every 6 months now.

2 moms found this helpful

Funny you should ask our dd who just turned 3 had her 4th 6mo check up today and 2nd cleaning and she loved it. She even did a fluoride treatment. They said they will hold off on X-rays until she is 5 unless she has something going on. She has no tarter or cavities. I also use an electric tooth brush on her I think that has made a difference in her liking the cleanings. It's important to start off on the right foot when it comes to dental care, a lot of what goes on with our bodies can stem from poor dental care.

2 moms found this helpful

I spoke to my dentist when my daughter was about 2.5. He said that unless they have a problem (or I suspect one) and as long as she lets me brush her teeth, there is no reason to start going to the dentist before 3.5/4 years if age. I opt to take her to one of two very good pediatric dentists in the area because I wanted to insure a good experience for her early on. The one I chose is the one that the "problem cases" get referred to. I took her when she turned 4 years old...great experience...she's been back two more times and goes again this coming Monday.

2 moms found this helpful

We started all kids at 18 months. Dental health is so important!

2 moms found this helpful

Our doctor said to start taking our kids to the dentist at age 3, so that is what we did.

2 moms found this helpful

yep. when my daughter had her first appt around 3y she had 2 cavities.
my niece at 3y had 3 cavities and needed a root canal. :(

It all depends on genes, diets and nightly routines.

2 moms found this helpful

I began @ age 1 yr they have all seen the dentist then every 6 months afterwards,heck thats why were paying insurance.Plus it teaches good habits early in life

2 moms found this helpful

I took my daughter after her teeth started coming in and I noticed they were a little discolored in some areas. I learned that was due to thin enamel because of her premature birth. Her teeth got a special fluoride coating and she was prescribed fluoride drops because we don't have fluoridated water where we live. Her first visit was when she was around two. She's almost six now and already has three permanent teeth grown in. They look perfectly fine, no thin enamel, but it's good to go early to start preventative care, not just to wipe up the "dirty parts".

1 mom found this helpful

Yes I took them at about 2, and if i hadnt I would have not known my son was tongue tied. Dentist picked it up right away, we got into the pediatrician, had the surgery done, got my son into speech therapy, ect... :)

1 mom found this helpful

I started taking my daughter when she turned 3.5 - she really didn't have any dental problems so she was fine waiting until then. Friends of ours have a daughter the same age who unfortunately inherited her dad's soft enamel and has already had several cavities. She's also already lost 3 baby teeth naturally (adult teeth coming in) and a 4th is loose (she got her first baby tooth at 3 months, then lost it just after turning 4, and she is now 5). So some kids are ok waiting until 3, and some need to start going sooner. How dirty or clean the teeth are has nothing to do with it. A dental exam and x-rays can pick up problems before you would become aware of them. They are also watching her to see if any orthodontic issues eventually show up and need to be corrected. And you want them getting used to the idea that visiting the dentist twice a year is the right thing to do.

1 mom found this helpful

I started taking mine at 2 just like you do. This is what my pediatrician recommended. Mostly, it's just to get the child used to someone working in their mouth and to remove some of the anxiety.

1 mom found this helpful

Yep I've taken both of mine at 2, its important to start dental care early, the dentist isn't only looking at their teeth but also the gums and the adult teeth growing under neither. Tell him thank you but I'm taking the kids to the dentist.

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't take my daughter until she was 4... her pediatrician started telling us to go when she was 3, I just dragged my feet. My son was only 2 when we made her first appointment, so we took him, too.

Here's another reason to take them: My 2 year old was running in the store and tripped and chipped his front tooth. Luckily, we had a relationship with our dentist and felt good about him. We even had their check-up on the books for the very next week! When he went in, it turns out the root was exposed and he had to have a ROOT CANAL and a CAP put on the tooth!! (Yes, a baby tooth...) They did it right then and there.

So imagine if something like that happens and you have to find a pediatric dentist in an emergency situation... not good. I hadn't really thought about that, but was sooooo glad we had a dentist we could trust at that point.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes. My son started going right after his 2nd birthday and my daughter started going right after her 1st bday. They both go twice a year.

The recommendation changed within the last couple of years and they now recommend starting at age 1.

1 mom found this helpful

I've seen 3 different pediatricians, and they all recommended going at age 3. The pediatric dentist recommends age 1. My kids have all started going to the dentist at age 2.5 - when they could understand directions and sit still for a full cleaning. They go back every six months.

I have quite a few friends whose kids have had cavities by the age of 4, so grandpa is wrong.

1 mom found this helpful

We started both our girls at about 2. They are now 24 and 14 and have great teeth. They also don't have anxiety about the dentist like I do. It's just something you do every 6 months. No big deal.

Young kids CAN have dental problems. Why not take care of your kids' teeth?! They have to keep them for life, so it's good to start taking care of them early.

1 mom found this helpful

I take them for my visits even before they are two so that they just get used to the idea of going to that office. I was always deathly afraid of the dentist and my teeth are horrible. I rarely had a visit that wasn't painful. I don't want that for my kids. I am fortunate enough that one of my really good friends is a dentist. When my kids are very little they sit on my lap as I get my teeth cleaned and my friend counts their teeth. When they are old enough they get to sit in the dentist chair by themselves. They have all been excited to sit in Dr. Peggy's dentist chair. For me it is totally worth it!

1 mom found this helpful

Absolutely. DD had teeth at 6 mo. and a problem at 10 and most dentists want to see a kid for a first initial looksee at 1 yr. If there is a problem, see them earlier. My MIL actually praised me because she'd had poor care as a kid and has dentures because of it. Of course they can have dirty teeth - and cavities and bottle rot and any number of things. I'd ignore your dad. You're doing the right thing, IMO. It's not a scam.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes. Never hold down a child to brush their teeth. It's guaranteed to make them hate brushing their teeth. And it undermines the parent-child relationship. So I really don't like the idea many dentists suggest, that two adults work together to lie the child down and hold his hands while the other person brushes his teeth. Imagine if someone did this to you. How could it not be traumatizing?

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 4 yr.old & 8 yr. old. I started taking them at 3 and the youngest at 2 yrs. old. The 4 yr. old had 2 cavities at the dentist recently. I don't think it's too young.

If you need a recommendation, we go to Melissa Rozas in Coppell. Her office staff is awesome too!

1 mom found this helpful

My mom was the one who said I should take my son to the dentist. He was about 3 when he started going. If I remember right my mom said as soon as my son started getting teeth I should take him.

1 mom found this helpful

I think the reccomendation is 3 like previous posters said. A 4 year old that hasn't been to the dentist? Are you kidding me? And I know a lot of 4 year olds that have cavities.

1 mom found this helpful

My kid's dentist said to start taking them at 1. So, my daughter has been twice.
Grandpa is just old school. That's okay. It's not because the kid's teeth are dirty, it's to get them used to going to the dentist. Comfortable opening their mouths for someone. Keep it up.
Laura

1 mom found this helpful

LOL Holy cow! Grampa sounds quite out of touch! Kids teeth are worse because they're too young to brush or brush well. It is recommended for a child to go to their first dental appointment somewhere between 3 and 4, depending on the dentist and what they want to do. They get their first check and if they're fine the dentist will recommend coming back every 6 months to be checked and will decide when to start doing cleanings. The dentist will tell you what the parents are doing wrong or right! My granddaughter is 4 and because of her larger front teeth overlapping her parents did not catch that she has teeth rotting teeth! My son works days and overlaps his wife's night shift. They thought each other were brushing her teeth. She's visiting for 3 weeks and I caught it. She's going to the dentist and he will fix the problem and recommend what they need to do next. Kids teeth don't get dirty? LOL They eat food like adults! They're teeth are softer than adult teeth and wear down much easier! Yes, they need dental care as much or more than adults!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful

Wish I had. Our former pedi advised us to wait and now we have a 6 year old with some adult teeth who still completely freaks out at the dentist. He's never had a properly completed cleaning or full set of x-rays.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, little kids CAN get cavities. Not taking your child in until they're older is doing them a huge disservice. You can also get an idea for any future issues and start planning financially.

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter had her first dentist appoint at age 3, when up here (north east ohio) the dentists says to take them in.

1 mom found this helpful

I started taking my kids to the dentist for "cleanings" (they just brush and floss their teeth) at age 2. They are 5 and 7 now. They go every 6 months :)

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, we have taken our child since she was 1 1/2-2 years old.

1 mom found this helpful

My dentist didn't want to start seeing the boys until they were three. They both love the dentist, and love the orthodontist even more.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, of course you take your kids to the dentist. Kids can't have dirty teeth when younger? Um....candy, juice, sugar that gets left by eating fresh fruit even, etc. Also, it's not about JUST cavity prevention (though that is important!): I took my oldest when he turned 2, my youngest son went at 18 months just because we were watching "big brother" and they went ahead and let "little brother" get his teeth brushed and looked at. They go twice a year, and they are PERFECTLY fine and happy to go to the dentist now (ages 5 1/2 and 2 1/2). I see or hear other children whose parents waited until they were school age to go to the dentist, and those kids are terrified, put up little fights, etc. If you just start them early and easy, it's no big deal once they're old enough to freak out. That's my opinion, anyway. And it's good to make sure all is going as it should be. When my boys (especially the first) were babies, my parents thought lots of things that are basic common sense are silly. I answered with "Yeah....my grandparents thought it was silly, frivolous, and funny when you bought my little brother a car seat, too. That doesn't make the car seat wrong". That puts an end to it everytime. :)

1 mom found this helpful

My kids started at 3. It was suggested by my uncle, who is also our dentist! So he has no reason to rip us off :) Neither of my children are afraid of the dentist now. They both actually enjoy going!

My son went to all of our appointments with us starting at 1yo. It's a family office, he sat on our laps, helped with the suction, playing in their toybox. He became very familiar. They would do quickie checks on him, give us advice, but didn't do a thorough check until he turned 4yo.
We know so many toddlers/preschoolers with cavities or teeth that are growing too close together (causing cavities and more issues). So, even if nothing is wrong yet, like with our son, he's getting acclimated with the noises/smells/staff/etc.
Good luck :)

My son is 4 1/2 and has been to the dentist twice. I discussed with my dentist the best time to bring him and he honestly said the first few visits would just be a gentle cleaning, but mostly a Positive Experience so that he develops a good feeling about taking care of his teeth. Even if some people say "it just a way for a dentist to make more money", it's worth it to me that my son now LOVES going to the dentist. He doesn't have an ounce of fear, which is great for down the road when he will need more "adult" care on his teeth. I say take them!

Of course you take toddlers and preschoolers to the dentist, unless of course you don't care if they have rotten teeth.

As they lose baby teeth and get permanent ones, you need to get the sealants put on them as well. My 17 yr old has visited the pediatric dentist since she was 2, got sealants, etc as needed and has never had an issue with her teeth.

Grandpa is out of the loop on this one, don't listen to that advice unless you are ok with children who have rotten teeth, gum disease and potantial other health issues due to not maintaining their teeth.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.