15 answers

When to Take Toddler to Dentist

I have a nearly 3 yr old son and it just occurred to me that I should begin thinking about dental care. When is the best time and/or does anyone have good recommendations for dentist who are superbly skilled with the little ones? Of course, I want to make sure that he receives the care he needs, but how much dental care is really necessary for the milk teeth if his diet is free of sugar and most processed foods. Has anyone waited until 5 or 6 before starting to see a dentist? Thank you!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I started taking mine when they were 1. The Kids Dentist in West Linn is awesome! The whole office is decorated just for kids and has a lot of great things to distract them. Very nice people and great office!

More Answers

I am a dental hygienist. The official recommendation is that a child's first visit to the dentist occur before he/she turns one year old, or when teeth begin to erupt (sometimes children still don't have teeth at one year old). Then, you should have your child's teeth examined annually after that until he/she is able to sit still for an actual cleaning (usually somewhere between 2-1/2 to 5 years old, depending on the child). Cleanings are recommended every six months after that. For the very young children, most offices will schedule a "happy visit," during which the child gets to ride in the chair and become familiar with the office and dental team members, and the doctor does a quick visual exam (to make sure the teeth are coming normally and there is no decay beginning). Cleaning and x-rays may or may not be done. It's a very relaxed visit, but highly recommended. The earlier a child learns that the dental office is a friendly place with people who want to help him/her, the less likely he/she is to grow up fearing the dentit. Often, offices do not even charge for happy visits (especially if they happen to coordinate with your regular maintenance appointment and no cleaning or x-rays are done). As for the risk to your son's teeth, if he's not eating much sugar (although the natural sugars in fruits, juices, and milk can still be very damaging) and you're brushing his teeth regularly (especially before he goes to bed), then he's probably at a pretty low risk level. It would still be wise to have a professional check him out, though. Even very small spots of decay can spread very quickly on baby teeth, and decay on baby teeth can actually pass to the permanent teeth before they even come in! I'm new to the area, so I don't know any good pediatric dentists. If you like your own dentist, though, you could ask him/her if they see children or if they have a recommendation. Under normal circumstances, there's no reason why a child cannot see the same dentist his/her parents see. I hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful

At the advice of my pediatrician I took my son to the dentist when he turned two. The younger one wound up going around the time he got his first set of teeth, as the dentist said it is always a good idea to start sooner. Usually, by 3 yo they do a light cleaning, including flossing. This can be difficult to do if a child is nervous because it is his first time at the dentist. Which is why they say the sooner the better.

We go to Dr. James in Wilsonville. He is amazing! His staff, and office are completely comfortable and my kids actually look forward to going. I have even heard that several parents followed him from Vancouver when he opened up his practice in Wilsonville. http://www.dentistryforkidsonline.com They even have "Star Nights" which are special appointments they do in the evening for the busy working families.

1 mom found this helpful

What my dentist told me was that it is a good idea to start getting them into the dentist at age 3 and age 4 to get them used to the idea of just sitting in the chair, and meeting the dentist, and seeing what goes on, kinda like practice for the future dentist appointments. So...you could probably wait until age 4-5, but the sooner the better, I think!

1 mom found this helpful

I think it sets a good example to take him now and maybe when he is 20-something he might put himself in the dentist chair even though it feels "pointless". I also think it is nice to have a relationship with a dentist before anything needs fixed.

We LOVE Dr Pike ###-###-####. His office does children only and the price is very reasonable. They have gerbils, video games, therapy dogs, and greatest of all, understanding adults. They will never force treatment on your child. They start out by testing whether or not your child will let them touch their shoes well before trying to see their teeth. My son needed a root canal at the age of two. The staff took the time to get it done within his comfort level. No one had to hold my boy down-- he sat through it himself at the age of 2.

1 mom found this helpful

I took my kids for their first appointment at around 2 years. We love Dr. Krista Badger in NE PDX

1 mom found this helpful

I started taking mine when they were 1. The Kids Dentist in West Linn is awesome! The whole office is decorated just for kids and has a lot of great things to distract them. Very nice people and great office!

No you are suppose to bring the baby to a dentist at age 1 and you should be brushing at the sight of the first tooth. Baby teeth are very important even though most people do not think that!

Just have to put my 2 cents in too. I took my daughter when she was 2, just to watch and have her teeth "counted" (really just to take a quick look and have her sit in the chair), then at 3 for her first cleaning. The hygenists were great with her, she got to watch me as they explained everything they were doing to me. She thought it was hilarious that mommy had to wear a bib. When I was finished she literally jumped into the chair and opened her mouth as wide as she could for her turn.
I see Dr. Timothy Elliot in Gresham and he is the best

1 / 3
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.