When, What, Where and Why Does My Young Child Need to Go to the Dentist?

when what where should my child see a dentistWe get a lot of questions regarding the specifics of children’s first dental visit.  When is the correct time?  Why do they need to go at such a young age?  What happens at the first visit and does my child need to see a “pediatric dentist”?  In this series we will discuss each of these questions.  Dr.  Janna Civils will also follow up this series with a video explaining answers to the most common questions.

We will start with the “When” and “Why”


Congratulations are in-order; you have a new beautiful bundle of joy.  Your little one sees the medical doctor regularly and is now at the age of around 6 months sitting up and has two teeth.

Believe it or not, it is time for your child’s first dental visit.  The American Dental Association now recommends that a child see the dentist with the eruption of the first tooth and no later than 1 year.



At this early age we know that your child has no cavities.  If you wait until age 3 or worse yet, until something hurts, there could be several things brewing that would require extensive treatment that you would not be behaviorally ready for.  This results in general anesthesia and possible early loss of front teeth.

Cavities are bad.  They are black soft holes in the teeth caused by bacteria.  These bacteria love sugar.  Without the appropriate information you may inadvertently give these sugar bugs a party in your child’s mouth causing cavities.

Some interesting facts

  • By the age of 2, one in ten children has already had a cavity.
  • The dental costs for children who have their first visit before age one are 40% lower in the first five years as to compared to those children who do not see a dentist by age one.
  • Childhood caries is the most chronic disease of childhood.  It is 5times more prevalent than asthma and hay fever.
  • Childhood cavities have been linked to lower than ideal body weight and time lost in school.

So we have established clearly that cavities are bad and the earlier we start preventing them the better.

Greensboro Pediatric dentistToday’s post was written personally by Drs. David and Janna Civils. Do you have a question for either Dr. David or Dr. Janna?  We would love to hear from you!

Drs. David and Janna Civils

1114 Magnolia Street
Greensboro, NC


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