At what age should children start seeing a dentist?

Early dental care for your child is essential. Many parents are surprised to learn that the number one chronic childhood illness is tooth decay that affects 42 percent of kids between the ages of 2 and 11. Unfortunately, early cavities often go undiagnosed, and 23 percent of kids in the same age group have untreated cavities.

At Dental Creations of Daytona Beach, we like to start seeing kids around age three or four. At this age, most of their baby teeth have emerged. By starting their dental care at an early age, we can better ensure their future oral health and help them develop a positive attitude about visits to the dentist.

Our caring team of hygienists and assistants have children and grandchildren of their own, so we understand what it takes to keep our youngest patients comfortable and happy during their time with us.

What happens during my child’s first visit?

During your child’s first visit, our focus is to approach them at a pace that’s comfortable for them. Children experience stress in new situations in the same way adults do, so we’ll let them dictate what happens or doesn’t happen during their first visit.

When it’s time for their appointment, we’ll chat with them for a bit, show them the little mirror, give them a ride in the dental chair, and count their teeth.

If they’re receptive, we’ll perform an exam. If not, we’ll wait till the next appointment. With each visit, your child’s confidence increases until they are comfortable with us treating them. We realize that these visits may be stressful for you, too, so for your peace of mind, we encourage you to join your child in the treatment room.

Can I bring my child in for a visit before their first appointment?

We think it's a great idea to bring your child along when you or their siblings have a dental cleaning. These experiences allow your son or daughter to take in the sights and sounds (maybe spot an Otter in our pond!) and get to know our team in a secure, non-threatening environment. Often, we will let them watch their favorite Netflix show with headphones while you get your teeth cleaned, which builds their trust and comfort with their new dental home! By the time they’re ready for their first “official” visit, they will already be familiar with us and the surroundings.

Why are baby teeth so important?

This is a critical time for your child’s dental development, so think of your child’s baby (primary) teeth as placeholders for permanent teeth. The conditions that affect baby teeth can also impact permanent adult teeth that will soon follow in their place.

The goal is to keep your child’s baby teeth healthy and problem free until it’s time for their adult teeth to emerge for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Losing even one primary tooth too early can lead to crooked or crowded teeth and the possible need for orthodontic treatment in the future.

What children's dentistry services are available?

As your child grows, their dental needs continually change. A six-year-old whose permanent teeth are erupting has different needs than a three-year-old with baby teeth.

We can accommodate your child as their needs change, and there are several procedures we may recommend:

  • Preventive dental cleanings that allow us to make sure your child’s teeth are as clean and healthy as possible.
  • Fluoride treatments and sealants to strengthen your child’s teeth and help protect them from bacteria and cavities
  • Tooth-colored fillings to remove decay and restore the tooth.
  • Extractions as a last-resort procedure if your child’s tooth is too decayed to be saved with a crown or filling.
  • Digital x-rays every six months for kids who are at high risk for tooth decay; children with a low risk for decay require less frequent x-rays.
  • Customized protective mouth guards for kids who play sports

Getting to know your teeth is fun!

Download our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit!

When New Teeth Arrive

Tooth Eruption Chart
tooth eruption chart2


Your child’s first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child’s gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.

Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, including wisdom teeth).

Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

As your child’s teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing at least two times a day, paritcularly before bed so that sticky plaque does not have an opportunity to populate extensive bacteria colonies during sleep.

Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. Fluoridated toothpaste is recommended for all children starting at tooth eruption, regardless of caries risk. A smear (the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste should be used up to age three. After the third birthday, a pea-sized amount may be used. We recommend dispensing toothpaste for young children and supervising and assist with brushing.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay because many do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Another significant contributor is the amount and type of snacks and beverages our children are exposed to. We always encourage all our patients to stay hydrated with plain water instead of juices, energy drinks, or other flavored beverages. Ongoing exposures to dry snacks throughout the day creates an acidic environment that bad bacteria thrive in. 

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Sometimes, tooth sealants are recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.