Preparing for Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Your child’s first dentist visit should be an enlightening, educational, and exciting experience for both you and your son or daughter. This brief informational guide should answer all of your questions and help you prepare.
When to schedule the first appointment
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist for the first time around their first birthday. Maintaining healthy primary teeth until they fall out naturally is critical for healthy adult teeth, and these preventative appointments can help.
Preventative care should be scheduled every six months. At each appointment, your child will have his or her teeth cleaned and examined for signs of decay. If you notice dental problems in between appointments, schedule an appointment right away so that a focused exam can be performed. Your child might need a focused evaluation if they’re complaining of pain or you can see visible decay or damage.
How to choose a dentist
Consider these factors when choosing a dentist:
Is the office designed with children in mind?
Is the dentist board-certified in pediatric dentistry?
Is the staff patient and friendly?
Does your child feel comfortable?
Does the team invest in prevention and education for both parent and child?
Keep in mind that nearly all dentists accept children, but only a pediatric dentist specializes in treatment and prevention for children.
How to keep them calm during the visit
Surprisingly, children usually do best when their parents aren’t in the room for the duration of the visit. It’s recommended that you either wait in the waiting room and allow the staff to lead your child back or go back with them and then return to the waiting room once they’re settled in. You can also help them stay calm by reading books about the dentist ahead of time and presenting the dentist in a positive way.
Tips for healthy primary teeth
Many parents underestimate the importance of baby teeth, but your child’s baby teeth serve several important roles. They reserve space for adult teeth and keep the bone and tissue healthy to best support adult teeth later in life. Additionally, infections in primary teeth can lead to serious problems, including systemic infections, severe pain, tooth loss, malnutrition, social problems, and decreased self-esteem.
You can help your child keep his or her primary teeth healthy by:
1-Using a washcloth or baby toothbrush to clean gums and first teeth
2-Brushing their teeth twice a day starting around age 1 or 2
3-Limiting food and drinks that are high in sugar
4-Not allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle
You have the important job of helping your child care for their baby teeth and establish healthy oral hygiene habits. We hope these tips make it a little easier!
If you live in the North Georgia area, schedule a service at All Stars Pediatric Dentistry. We are the top-rated children’s dentist in Cumming and can make your child’s first dental visit an easy experience!