How Often Does My Child Need To See a Family Dentist for a Teeth Cleaning?

Family Dentist Sterling, VA

Seeing a family dentist on a regular basis is vital for maintaining excellent oral hygiene and gum health in adults, but how does this translate to children? While adult patients may know exactly when they need to see a dentist, questions may arise about checkups for children. Since children may not fully understand the necessity of a checkup, oral problems may go unnoticed by parents if children fail to voice concerns. Knowing when to take a child to the dentist can prevent greater problems in the future.

Dentistry for children

Parents, particularly those with their first child, may wonder when it is the right time to take a child to the dentist for the first time, how often to go in for a checkup, and what home-care practices to follow. Teeth are a critical part of any child’s development, and explaining the importance of checkups to a child can make the first appointment easier. Here are strategies to consider before visiting the dentist and how frequently appointments should be scheduled.

When to start seeing a dentist

Baby teeth may start to emerge in an infant at around six months of age. Even before the teeth arrive, bacteria can build up on the gums, so parents are encouraged to wipe the gums daily with a wet cloth. This can ensure the mouth stays clean and fosters a healthy environment as the child’s teeth develop. Once all the baby teeth are prominent, consider seeing a family dentist to learn what needs to be done to keep the teeth and gums healthy.

When to get teeth cleanings

Though baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent adult teeth, it is still essential to keep up on cleanings while children are young. Baby teeth help establish children’s speech patterns and help with chewing, which ensures they are getting proper nutrition. After a child has started visiting the dentist, parents should continue making an appointment every six months. Most dental offices send out reminders to parents when it is time to schedule the next checkup.

Why checkups are important

Even if nothing appears wrong to a patient, a dentist may discover early signs of tooth decay or gum disease that require preventative measures to keep the condition from worsening. Children may be less likely to report an issue, so seeing a dentist two times a year allows the dentist to spot any problems. Regular checkups also give children the opportunity to get comfortable with the dentist and the dental office. In the case of an emergency, parents can bring a child into an office that is already familiar, which can ease stress and tension.


Children may experience anxiety before a first dental checkup. This is completely normal, and there are a few tricks parents can use to ease their nerves. Children can accompany a parent to an adult checkup to watch the cleaning procedure, and there are plenty of kids’ books available to teach children about what it is like to visit a family dentist. A dental checkup should be an easy experience for children, not a hassle.

Request an appointment here: or call Titan Dental Care at (703) 745-3227 for an appointment in our Sterling office.

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