Children need to see a dentist regularly just like adults; this is true even if they haven't gotten in all their permanent teeth. Note that only your dentist can answer questions about your child's oral health specifically; however, you might consider a few questions that many parents have about taking their child to a dentist so you can ensure you're doing your part as well.
When should you first take your child to a dentist?
Your family dentist can tell you when it's good to start taking a child to a dentist; this may not be when they're infants, but usually it means before they lose their baby teeth. In many cases, you might consider taking them for their first visit as soon as they begin teething or their teeth come in, and then a children's dentist can recommend a schedule of regular visits after that.
What is the difference between a children's dentist and a family dentist?
Once the children come along, your own family dentist may encourage you to select a children's dentist for their care. While a family dentist can no doubt examine their teeth for many issues and perform some cleaning, a children's dentist will usually be more familiar with oral health concerns that affect children in particular. This might include the expected schedule for getting in their permanent or adult teeth and monitoring the health of their mouth as their baby teeth fall out.
A children's dentist might also be more familiar with orthodontic issues that affect children, meaning whether or not their teeth are properly aligned. A children's dentist can monitor how their jawbone is shaped as they grow and note if this might affect the alignment of their teeth, and then recommend a child get braces or another dental appliance to straighten their teeth as needed.
Why worry about the health of baby teeth?
It might seem pointless to take your child to the dentist while they still have baby teeth that will fall out, but a dentist does more than just examine the teeth themselves. As said above, they will monitor the shape and development of the jaw line to ensure teeth are coming in straight. Cavities in baby teeth can also mean that your child has poor habits that might affect their adult teeth; this can include drinking sugary sodas or not brushing properly. Caring for these issues before their adult teeth come in can mean ensuring those teeth are healthy and strong.